Crook peak is a peak located at the north edge of the Warner mountains*. It is important as the 100th peak on Howbert List (Oregon Top 100
). The peak itself is not hard to see or get to. However, roads at the base may be archaic or abandoned. Use caution when selecting your route.
Crook peak is climbable from any direction and probably year around. The peak is a cone composed of grass, and large talus making it easy to hike.
*see discussion in comments
From Lakeview take 395 north for 4.7 miles. Turn east onto Oregon highway 140 and continue 8 miles. Turn left (north) onto NFS Road 3615 (paved). Follow 3615 11.7 miles. Turn right. The is an unmarked road, but it fairly good as NFS roads go. You should climb and pass a gravel pit after a little less than half-a-mile. Park at the gravel pit or anywhere on or off the road (that you feel comfortable with). The road eventually leads to the high saddle (rim) between Twelvemile and McDowell Peak.
From here you are left with a 2 mile traverse to the summit. First ascend the road to near the rim. Avoid snow at the edge of the ravine. Then drop down in the ravine to your north and circumvent (or traverse) McDowell Peak. To the north of McDowell lies another ravine. Drop down again to the saddle (between Crook and McDowell) before climbing the southwest edge of Crook to the summit.
Note that the Fremont National Recreation Trail runs from the meadow along this path under the summit of Crook. However, the trail is hard to find in many location. It can be used, however, to traverse around McDowell and climb in and out of both Ravines.
Note also that Google Maps provides alternate routes to getting close to Crook. A friend and I looked for many of the routes and were not impressed with the road quality in this area. We settled for the extra mile or so of hiking instead of route finding. The road listed is of very good quality compared with many of the supposed roads in the immediate vicinity.
No Red Tape here. Just be aware you are in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Rules of that forest apply. Also, be aware that you are in Southeastern Oregon...aka the middle of nowhere. So there are few people, and even fewer rangers. That is both a good and a bad thing. Be thoughtful and respectful.
We chose to camp near the gravel pit (watch for standing water...aka misquitos). Wind is more of a friend than a foe in the summer months. Consider camping in the meadow closer to the rim to use the wind to ward off misquitos.
I am not aware of any restrictions on camping in this area. There are campgrounds littering 3615 if you prefer (as well as a rent-able lookout on Light Peak).
Be aware of the remoteness of the Warner Mountains. This paths and roads in this area are often neglected or unmaintained. Weather too, varies wildly. As an example, a thunderstorm may develop and role in before your eyes. This may occur in as little as an hour (as per the authors experience).
External LinksFremont National Recreation Trail
Fremont Winema National Forest