Dog Tooth Rock has intrigued me for a while from below and afar. While making my rounds in my Detroit playground, I’ve viewed Dog Tooth from many angles. I’ve seen it mentioned in an old edition of Tim Olson’s Portland Rock Climbs, in the adventure climb section…but not much more info exists, other than I have heard of a few that have climbed it. There is no scramble route to the highest point unless your ok with scrambling low 5fth class, loose mossy choss. The rock is the typical Oregon choss that crumbles at the touch. Rarely climbed…so very dirty, and loose…perfect for the Oregon Pinnacle adventure climber. Access to Dog Tooth Rock is an easy stroll down a well-marked trail with a short cross-country scramble to the base of the rock. Be prepared for a thick bushwhack if you decide to circumnavigate Dog Tooth Rock.
...a view from Dome Rock
From Salem take Hwy 22 East to Detroit Lake. Before crossing the green railed bridge that crosses the Breitenbush River/French Creek you’ll take a left on French Creek Rd. Follow this narrow paved road for about 4.5 miles. The road turns to gravel and you’ll come to a fork in the road. Take a right on road #2227. Follow this bumpy gravel road for about 3.75 miles. You’ll see a large parking lot off to you right. This is the French Creek Ridge Trailhead. Park your rig, grab your gear, and walk across road #2227. Look for a sign “Cedar Lake” trail #3349. Walk this trail for about .6 mile. You’ll see Dog Tooth Rock through the trees on your left. At this point the best access to Dog Tooth is to hop off trail and follow the ridge crest to the base of the rock.
A NW Forest Pass is required at the French Creek Trailhead…although the Ranger rarely gets up that way...wink wink
Follow the “leave no trace” rule and you can camp just about anywhere free. Detroit lake CG is a large, busy, noisy & expensive campground. There is a couple of small CG’s up Hwy 46, Humbug & Cleater Bend. Both of which are pay spots.
When To Climb
On a normal snow year you won’t be able to reach the trailhead till mid to late June. So late spring to late fall is a good climbing window.
For the local forecast check here, or, for road conditions, call the Detroit Ranger District @ 503-854-3368
"Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater."