Unless you have a high-clearance vehicle, you will probably be starting your hike at the lower trailhead. Fortunately we were able to get to the upper trailhead with an AWD mid-size SUV.
We saw not another soul from the moment we left the pavement and had this one all to our selves.
Since we had encountered slushy and punchy snow, rather than take the direct charge to the summit up the talus, we headed over to the saddle (marked on maps as "Windy Gap") and bushwhacked to the ridgeline from there, where we stomped in steps to the remaining snow.
On the ridgeline you will be greeted by several false summits, the first of which is snowy, and the second two of which are presently bare rock scrambles (which it is possible to traverse around if you so desire).
A small cairn may be found at the summit, and the benchmark is just a few yards beyond.
Beautiful clear day with Shasta and McLoughlin in clear view.
This was a beautiful day, with some firm snow left on the summit ridge and nice views of the surrounding mountains including Mount McLoughlin and Mount Shasta.
Nice trip down to the south western section of Oregon where we were able to hit back dirt roads and connect Mount Bolivar, Brandy Peak, and Grayback Mountain. Three Oregon CoHP's and three P2K's; not bad.
My son(8ya) and I took off to climb Grayback fairly early. On the way up a tree snagged me tore my down sweater leaving me in a cloud of goose down. Then at the top when we were bending over to sign the summit register the cap came off the bear spray and squirted a dose in the face of my son. What are the odds?! Anyways after a fair amount of water and tears we enjoyed a perfect summit. I can't say him or I will ever come back though:)
This was a nice enough hike, although lots of smoke from a forest fire a couple ridgelines to the west. Long drive back to Tri-Cities afterwards.
After driving all the way from Washington during the previous night, and then doing Mount Bolivar and Brandy Peak during this same day... and all with very little sleep... I went to Grayback Mountain. My car was able to make it to the O'Brien Trailhead despite a few minor rough patches. This was the first out-of-Washington hike that has ever completely reminded me of Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which I liked a lot. I hiked the trail to the large signed junction at 6000', then turned left and immediately turned right up the steep meadow slopes. The final 1000' to the summit was completely off-trail, an easy hike up steep meadow slopes and then a bouldery ridgetop. Highly recommended summit hike and CoHP.
First prominence peak with my son and his friend. Great climb.
With Dad, below.
Ran out of COHPs in CA, so I moved on to Oregon. Son Ryan joined me for three days in Oregon having fun. Trip Report
This was my second summit of Grayback. The first time was in the summer of 1999. Quite a bit more difficult with snowshoes and starting at 3,400 ft elevation. Great climb though.
See Cornvallis post below. We spent 7 hours (maybe more?) getting to this hike, so we started a bit late allowing us the opportunity to witness a 7 minute sunset from the top. We jogged the trail back down to the car. Our time, car to car, was under 3 hours. Really beautiful area, would have liked to spend more time exploring.
Got a late start on this due to our longer than should've been summit of the Curry county HP, Brandy Pk. Started from the upper TH at around 5:15, up in under 2 hours. Enjoyed a beautiful 6.5 minutes at the summit. Great place. The Red Buttes and Preston Pk. looked very appealing from our summit perch. Greasy food @ Denny's in Grants Pass on our way home.
Snowed down to 3000 night before. Took lower trailhead as road was getting treacherous. Had a great hike up to the junction. Will definatly be back to get the view from the top. Did not summit.
Annual Father's Day climb with Kyle and Reese. Still a little snow below summit. Only a couple minor blowdowns across trail.
As a kid growing up in Cave Junction, Oregon, I would see this mountain out my piano teachers window every Tuesday afternoon. As she lectured me on my poor posture, and extolled the virtues of scales, my eyes would wander to the left, past the books and metronome, the stacked firewood on the back porch, and out and up to the mountain. For me, it was the biggest mountain I was familiar with. The big gray slope, devoid of trees would be the indicator of how close we were to getting snow. People always commented on how far down the snow line was on Grayback Mtn. Most of these were immigrants from California who were deathly afraid of driving on the slush that passes for snow in Southern Or. One day, while on a weekend hike with my parents, we went out on a long gentle ridge, and I fooled around with my fellow 11-year old buddies on the top. Later, my parents told me that we had finally hiked to the top of Grayback. That was the first and last time I climbed anything without knowing what it was!
Dean pretty much told the story. After a day of hiking in the rain and driving in fog or drizzle, it was great to hike in the sunshine.
Bob Bolton and I did this as part of a SW Oregon sweep where we worked on the Coastal counties of Coos (Mt. Bolivar) Curry (Brandy Peak) and Josephine (Grayback Mtn). We had plans to do So. Sister the next day which ended when I nearly broke my wrist in a fluke fall not far from the summit when a rock moved underfoot.
We had camped near the trailhead of this one and found it a fun workout and very interesting. There is an interesting cabin (Krause) to explore but the trail has suffered unbelievable blowdowns and we found it much easier to just go straight up the side of the mountain to the summit. Great views to Mt. Shasta to the south, Mt.. McLoughlin to the east and some neat peaks to the Southwest.
When we were just about back to the TH, we met a couple from Medford who were going to hike to the summit. One of them was a physical therapist and he said he'd been climbing everything in the area and that Grayback had been highly recommended by the Medford locals. We recommended that he stay off of the main trail once he got to about the 5800 foot mark as from that point on there had been hundreds of trees down due to a windstorm that had hit the area. I had never seen so many trees across a trail before, it was really unbelievable.
All in all, a fun hike / climb on a very unknown summit in southern Oregon. See Bob's trip report that I've put on the front page.