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Tower Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Tower Mountain

 
Tower Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Oregon, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 45.05430°N / 118.56888°W

Object Title: Tower Mountain

County: Umatilla

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 6850 ft / 2088 m

 

Page By: Redwic

Created/Edited: Sep 19, 2011 / Sep 19, 2011

Object ID: 747434

Hits: 2752 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview

Tower Mountain is the highest and most prominent point in Umatilla County, Oregon. Although it is basically a drive-up summit, its place as a county highpoint (CoHP) with legal public access gives it a proper standing on SummitPost. Also, numerous recreational opportunities and trails are abundant on the mountain and approach route, making this a great area to visit during any time of the year.
Tower Mountain
Looking Down At Summit Area...

The peak was originally named Lookout Mountain but its name was officially changed to Tower Mountain in 1925, because another nearby peak was also called Lookout Mountain. Having two Lookout Mountains caused some confusion, even with government officials, making the name change a needed action.

Although Tower Mountain is a CoHP, perhaps more people find the summit to be a worthy objective because of its tall lookout tower. The first lookout tower built at the summit was a 60'-tall wooden pole tower that had a 6'x6' cab, constructed sometime during the 1920s. However, the original tower did not last long, and was torn down in 1935 to allow construction of the next tower. The newly-constructed tower was a 92'-tall Aermotor steel lookout tower, which is still standing and accessible today.
Tower Mountain
92'-Tall Lookout Tower

The original lookout ground cabin burned-down during the 1940s. That cabin was soon replaced with the nearby Lucky Strike Lookout cabin, which was moved to the peak. The Tower Mountain Lookout is still staffed every Summer, and is found on the National Historic Lookout Register.
Tower Mountain
The Former Lucky Strike Cabin Converted For Tower Mountain

A USGS Benchmark is found at the base of the tower staircase. However, slightly higher ground can be found near the tower rather than at the tower.
Tower Mountain
USGS Benchmark Near Staircase

Benchmark for Tower Mtn
Close-Up View Of USGS Benchmark

Getting There

FROM UKIAH, OR:
1) Drive east along Highway 244.

2) After 16 miles, turn south on Road 5226.
NOTE: Road 5226 is the first road junction after the Lehman Springs turnoff.

3) Drive Road 5226 for 11.4 miles to the summit.
NOTE: Road 5226 is currently drivable for most passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists might refrain from using the road, although it is probably doable for them, too, with extra caution.
Tower Mountain
Driving Along Road 5226...

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FROM LA GRANDE, OR:
1) Drive west along Highway 244.

2) After 37 miles, turn south on Road 5226.
NOTE: Road 5226 is the first road junction after the Lehman Springs turnoff.

3) Drive Road 5226 for 11.4 miles to the summit.
NOTE: Road 5226 is currently drivable for most passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists might refrain from using the road, although it is probably doable for them, too, with extra caution.
Tower Mountain
View From Along Approach Route (Road 5226)

Red Tape

No special permits or fees are required to drive to the summit of Tower Mountain.

Tower Mountain is located within Umatilla National Forest. The North Fork John Day Ranger District headquarters is located in nearby Ukiah, OR. For current route information, weather information or camping information, please call the ranger district headquarters at 541-427-3231. The ranger district is open Monday-Friday, but closed on weekends and holidays.
Where man has gone before
Funny Tribute

Camping

Frazier Campground is the closest official campground to Tower Mountain. The campground is located along Road 5226 (the Tower Mountain approach road), within a 1/4-mile from the road intersection with Highway 244.

For any backcountry overnight stays on or near the mountain, please contact the ranger station in Ukiah between Monday-Friday for current rules and regulations.

Tower Mountain is located within Umatilla National Forest. The North Fork John Day Ranger District headquarters is located in nearby Ukiah, OR. For current route information, weather information or camping information, please call the ranger district headquarters at 541-427-3231. The ranger district is open Monday-Friday, but closed on weekends and holidays.
Tower Mountain
View From Atop Summit Tower

Images

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