Pedro Mountain is tucked away in a little known area of Oregon and is rarely visited. There is a good reason why it is rarely visited, it is on private land and permission must be gained in order to access the summit. More on that in the red tape section.
Pedro Mountain is important to those who are after the prominence peaks since it ranks as number 69 on the Oregon list and it has 2055 feet of prominence. A benchmark adorns the top but no register was found during my visit. Granted, it is not a major mountain but it is the highest one in this area of Oregon.
If coming from Portland and I-5, get on I-84 heading east. Go past La Grande and Baker City and head towards Boise. Between Baker City and Ontario, you'll pass the Weatherby rest area. After about four miles look for exit 340 and a sign indicating Rye Valley. Turn off onto the Dixie Creek road that heads for Rye Valley, a small farming area. This is a dirt road that heads on an uphill grade for several miles before dropping down to this junction.
Turn left on the road that should be signed as Mormon Basin road and this road will begin to ascend up to a ranch road, the Cabin Gulch road HERE that was signed for no trespassing. This would be the ideal place to park and hike in from but that would depend on getting permission from the lawd owner. I'll post a trip report that will have more information on how we accessed the mountain so that will be posted in the near future as this page is developed.
If coming from Boise, then exit 340 is just after you pass exit 342 for Lime. Once again, look for the Dixie Creek Road that heads for Rye Valley.
Red TapeAt this time, the land is posted as no trespassing but most likely that is due to the fact that much of the year cattle is run on the property. At the time I was there, no cattle were present and since it was a sunday, we couldn't find anyone around to talk to to try and get permission from. Future visitors might do some asking around to get permission to visit the benchmark on the summit.
If you decide to chase after the peak, please read my route report which will explain the route and means we used to access the peak. I do not recommend that you try to do this mountain without the owners permission despite the fact that is what we did. We were there very early in the morning and saw no one at all during our visit.
For us it was an 8 mile hike with 1500 feet of elevation gain. We just followed the ranch roads and in a couple areas went cross country.
CampingThere might be a place or two that you could camp along Mormon Basin road but there are no campgrounds of any sort in this area. I did see one camper who parked his vehicle near the stream near the Cabin Gulch ranch road.
Farewell Bend State Park is the nearest place that you could find a regular camping area and this is the LINK for more information on this state park.
You could overnight in your vehicle at Weatherby rest area, just off of I-84.
Early spring would not be a likely time to do this peak since snow might block the roads at higher elevation.
The Weatherby rest area has the following:
Pet rest area, Picnic tables, telephones & Oregon Trail exhibit
Weatherby Road Cam, click HERE (between Ontario and Baker City).
Map of the area
Click on the map twice to get a bigger size
A bit of historyThe Lewis and Clark expedition didn't go up and over Pedro Mountain but they were mighty close to it as they worked their way through the lower reaches where I-84 now runs. Consider the fact that the Oregon trail used much of the area where the highway now runs and if you are interested, stop at Weatherby rest area and read the history information at a kiosk there. That is where the below information was found:
"The Oregon Trail is the best known of all the many historic routes used by Americans in the settlement of the West. Stretching for more than 1,900 miles from Missouri to the Willamette Valley, the trail spanned more than half the continent. After the passage of thousands of covered wagon emigrants, the Oregon Trail route was later followed by the transcontinental railroads. Today it is paralleled by the present modern Interstate highway.
After leaving the Snake River at Farwell Bend, the emigrants traversed a divide and then descended into the Burnt River drainage near present-day Huntington. The river was followed through the canyon to the site of modern Durkee where it continued to the northwest across a divide into Baker Valley.
The road so far from Fort Hall had not been very bad, and being generally down hill we made good travel. On entering Burn-river Canyon, however, it meandered a good deal, and often followed the bed of the stream to avoid the labor of cutting the dense thicket. It was also steep climbing to get out at the head of the canyon.
--John Minto, emigrant of 1844
Thursday, August 23d. Prepare to move camp, find three of our good horses gone. After looking for and tracking them some distance over almost impassible hills, come to the conclusion that they were driven off by the Indians who are all gone this morning. All are sad enough. Rose four and one-half hours, twelve miles; encamp on Burn River; rode over long, long hills; crossed five creeks.
--Myra F. Eells, emigrant of 1838
Tuesday, Oct. 8…Our road was even worse than yesterday and we ascended the steepest hil I ever say teams cross. We had to double teams, and hard work at that. We crossed the creek a great many times and finally took a north fork and followed it out to the head, crossed a low gap in the ridge and struck a leading hollow and soon found grass and water sufficient to take us to Walley Walley, but our oxen are getting very weak and many have already given out. Pleasant this afternoon except a little too much wind and smoke.
--Edward E. Parrish, emigrant of 1844"
You'll note that a railroad is built along the highway and thanks to the great bargain worked out for the railroads, much of the land in the area became private. I'm going to try and research the Pedro Mountain aspect of this landtrade so perhaps I can provide some background in the settling of the area.
Also, there are quite a few mines in the Pedro Mountain area and I'll try and find out more about them to add in this history section.
Peakbagger linkA couple maps and good information can be found on this
peakbagger page. Click HERE