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High Valley access

 

Page Type: Route

Object Title: High Valley access

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: Don Nelsen

Created/Edited: Mar 13, 2008 / Mar 23, 2008

Object ID: 388045

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Page Score: 73.05%  - 3 Votes 

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Overview


South access via Smith-Cripe Road: Turn north on Smith-Cripe road at MP 29.9 on State Route 14.

>>>Proceed 1.5 miles to the end of the pavement and park in the paved turn-around area. (A gated one-lane gravel road continues past the gate but vehicular traffic is not allowed past this point.)

>>>Hike up the gravel road for about 700 feet past the gate to a Y in the road (There is a metal sign at the "y" with a road number on it.) and head due east on a faint ATV/4WD. After crossing the meadow the track bears to the left and starts to drop down the hill.

>>>About a third of a mile down the hill, keep your eye peeled for a faint junction on the left heading down to the creek.

>>>Switchback down and cross the creek on the logs and follow the trail up the hill.

>>>About 1/2 mile (from the creek crossing) you come to a junction where you can either continue straight ahead on the ancient overgrown logging road/trail or take a sharp left hand switchback and head directly up the west side trail. This route is faint, but obvious, leading to a challenging boot path up the ridge and across a hanging valley eventually arriving at the SW Archer Mountain viewpoint. Continuing on this trail past the viewpoint junction will lead you on a clockwise path that will bring you back to the left hand switchback junction mentioned above and a return to the trailhead.

>>>If you chose to go straight ahead at the switchback junction, the trail will soon emerge onto a gas line access road.

>>>Follow this road for ΒΌ mile and just before the road starts downhill again, find a faint trail leading off to the NE and across a large talus field. There is some flagging here, but scant and hard to spot. Follow the upright sticks in a line across the talus and find the continuation of the trail on the other side. The trail is hard to follow for a ways but gets much better as it switchbacks up the hill. It will eventually take you to a junction of a side trail that leads to the SE Archer Mountain viewpoint. (The true summit of Archer Mountain is a short distance up the faint trail to the north of this junction.) There has been a rockslide this past winter wiping out a short section of this trail and one of the switchbacks. (Note the car-sized boulder uphill of the switchback being held in place by a maple tree!)

Note: All of the trails in this area are "user maintained" and often hard to follow - especially after a storm with blowdown or in the snow. Your best bet is to find someone familiar with the area and get together - at least for your first trip to this incredible mountain!

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