The Augspurger Mountain Trail is a tougher alternative to the Dog Mountain Trails. It starts in the same place but you get almost twice the mileage at about 12.25 miles and about 35% more elevation gain. Views are not as grand but they are not bad and you won't have the crowds on this one once you branch off the west side of Dog Mountain. Quite a few open ridges and meadows provide nice breaks in the forest as well.
See the Getting There section of the main page for directions to the trailhead.
At the trailhead, take the Augspurger Trail that heads left (unless you need to use the restroom, then go about 50 yards to the right up the Dog Mountain Trail but once you are done, come right back and head left!). This trail contours around the west side of Dog Mountain on a more gradual slope for about 2 miles or so before it switchbacks up briefly. At 2.7 miles you will come to a junction. The right path heads up to Dog Mountain’s summit. Take a left and immediately you will start to lose elevation in a series of switchbacks and then a ridge heading down to the northwest. This section can be overgrown in Spring/early Summer.
Follow this narrower path down to where it bottoms out twice. At the second bottoming out, notice the huge old growth Douglas fir. After this, the trail climbs again until it ends at a forest road. Turn right and walk up the road. After a forested section, you will come to a clearing where power lines run through. This is a confusing intersection where several trails/roads come together. Just head straight across the power line path ignoring options to the sides. You will then reenter the forest and be back on the forest road. After a short walk, the road will make a sharp switchback to the left. Before you make the left, look for a trail heading off north into the woods and take it.
This next section cuts up and comes out in a series of small open ridges where wildflowers bloom in Spring. You will see the power lines on the left but you will not cut under them again. Follow the path along the ridges in and out of the woods. This section then changes to a series of forests and open meadows as you climb to the summit. The meadows also hold flowers in Spring. You will hit the summit 3.4 miles after the junction with that trail back on Dog Mountain. You’ll know it as the last meadow before the summit has a couple obvious trees to the right with cuts in the trunks that look like rectangles of bark have been removed. The actual summit is about 30 yards on through the forest and off to the right on a very faint path (just head to the highest ground) amid trees with pop tops nailed into them (I guess for reflectors or to mark the path in snow?).
The trail continues another 1.7 miles down the north slope to a gravel pit but why bother? Return the same way you came. Total distance round trip is about 12.25 miles and 4400 feet elevation gain.
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