Wildcat Mountain is a low-elevation peak in northwestern Oregon. With a summit elevation of only 1760'-1800', and with low aesthetic value, the peak is seldom summited. However, the mountain is important to some peakbaggers because it is Washington County's greatest prominent point (CoGPP). It is highly likely that the main (if not only) people summiting Wildcat Mountain are those people seeking the most prominent peak in each Oregon county. Otherwise, the mountain would probably only be visited by loggers, quarry workers, and occasional hunters.
Wildcat Mountain is located within Tillamook State Forest. However, the major access road, Wildcat Mountain Road, is gated. Hiking and/or biking is required, and the peak is non-technical. Due to possible active logging and quarry activities during workdays, summit attempts are only recommended on weekends or holidays.
A large quarry have shaved off slopes on the eastern side of the mountain. It is not recommended to visit the quarry, or to try reaching the summit ridge from that side. An old road leads from the southeast corner of the peak to the summit ridge. The road seems to end at the top of the quarry slopes, but an abandoned section of the road continues to the summit area. The summit, itself, is a thick brushy area. It might be hard to distinguish the highest point, due to the amount of thick groundcover and bushes.
STARTING FROM PORTLAND, OR:
1) Drive west along Highway 26.
2) After approximately 27 miles, turn left (west) onto NW Hayward Road.
3) After approximately 3.5 miles, Hayward Road bends southward. There is a road junction at this road-bend.
4) Two gravel roads originate at the road-bend. The left road is actually a driveway leading uphill to a private residence; do not take that road. The right/straight roads leads to an entrance gate. This is the entrance to Wildcat Mountain Road.
5) Park near the intersection of Hayward Road and Wildcat Mountain Road, making certain not to block any road accesses or entrances.
Entrance Gate To Wildcat Mountain Road
Wildcat Mountain Hiking/Approach Route
1) From the entrance gate (~1300' elevation), hike west along Wildcat Mountain Road.
Following Wildcat Mountain Road...
2) After 0.75 miles, maps show a road junction where a lesser side-road veers northward from Wildcat Mountain Road. However, this has long-since changed. Wildcat Mountain Road is decommissioned, unused, and overgrown at this section, and the lesser side-road heading north actually now looks like the main road. The section of Wildcat Mountain Road that no longer exists might be indistinguishable with the amount of forest and brush covering it. A map and GPS will assist with this location.
3) Briefly continue onto the northward road, but immediately try to find the best location for which to leave the road and bushwhack westward.
4) Ascend a gentle-sloped, short, easy bushwhack until reaching another north-south road (~1380 elevation) on the ESE side of Wildcat Mountain.
Easy Bushwhack/ Off-Road Section...
5) Follow the road southward until reaching a road-bend at the southeastern corner of Wildcat Mountain. Maps show this road-bend as Point "1391".
6) At the road-bend, a road veers uphill to the right (north). Turn onto that road, which becomes the summit road.
7) Ascend the summit road (good gravel/dirt) for 0.3 miles, until at the top of the large quarry slopes.
Ascending Summit Road (Good Gravel/Dirt)...
Looking Down At Quarry From Top Of Good Road...
8) Continue on the decommissioned/overgrown for another 0.1 miles until reaching the summit area. The true summit contenders are in thick brushy areas; a GPS and/or altimeter will help.
Abandoned Summit Road Near Summit...
Thick Brushy Forest At Summit Area...
Wildcat Mountain is located within Tillamook State Forest. Oregon state forest rules and regulations apply.
No permits or fees are required to visit Wildcat Mountain or to park at the entrance gate for the standard approach.
No camping is allowed on Wildcat Mountain or its standard approach route.