This was part of a trip involving one county high point in Southeast Washington, as well as Morrow, Umatilla, Grant, Wheeler, and Crook in Oregon.
After a late night / early morning in Southeast Washington, I headed up to this high point, which is practically a drive-up. I did not follow the direct route as others have done but stuck to the road. Either way, you will find it is straightforward and uneventful.
Hiked the road from the locked gate. This was the third of four Oregon CoHP's we did this day. Along with Sherman, Gilliam, and Umitilla counties.
After summiting nearby Tower Mountain (Umatilla CoHP) a few hours earlier, I went to Black Mountain. After walking along the road for approximately 1/2-mile, I decided to leave the road and head straight up the slopes along animal paths. Using those tracks, common sense, and my GPS as guides, I reached the upper portion of FS-030 within 1/4-mile of the summit area. Then I continued beyond the communications facility to the true, open, rocky summit. There is a nice can register there. I descended open slopes similar to my ascent route, but more direct to the first road switchback down below. This shaved off a lot of time: Only one hour roundtrip, including stopping at the summit for register-signing and photos.
Considering that the Gilliam CoHP does not currently have an SP page, I will continue the aftermath of this story... I continued west to Condon to get gasoline (before their one station closed for the day), then summited Zero Butte (Gilliam CoGPP), and then the Gilliam CoHP during sunset/early evening hours. I had planned to do more CoHP and CoGPP stuff the following day, but that was not meant to be: My front passenger-side tire blew out along Lone Rock Road shortly after leaving Lost Valley Road. What a horrible place and time for that to happen, and with my broken wrist not totally healed! At least I still had one great hand/arm and two strong legs to help with the lugnuts.
With no place having tires on Sunday between Condon and Yakima, I drove (using my "donut" tire) to Biggs that night, slept in my car, and then met my wife in Goldendale. She drove me to Yakima to get a new tire put on the wheel, then we went back to Goldendale, and then we both drove home. What an adventure! It was not anything like I planned, but an adventure all the same. The worst part is that now I have to return to that general northern area of Oregon for things such as Wheeler County, Sherman County, etc. I am trying to limit my number of trips, not add to them! lol
Walked up the road from the gate, car broke down on the way over to do nearby Tower Mountain.
Black and blue ain't bad when it's a mountain and the sky! I came across a cow elk grazing during my hike. She must have felt two was a crowd, cause she trotted away.
Most of the fun on this one is the drive getting there through country I had not seen before. I will take my wife back so she can get this one and enjoy the area. An easy cross country hike up but I took the road down.