So this mountain isn't really much of a climb, nor is it much of a hike to the mountain. But it is indeed a mountain so here's what I know about Potato Hill. The mountain is located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the summit is actually the boundary for the Yakama Indian Reservation. The reservation is off limits so when climbing you need to stay on the west side of the mountain. There are no trails on this side of the mountain so be prepared for bush whacking through Huckleberry bushes and thick Spruce trees. The summit is completely covered in trees so the views are mostly obstructed. I spoke with a bear hunter who told me that the biggest black bear that he'd ever seen (he estimated 400 pounds) lived in the general vicinity of Potato Hill. I can say that the largest bear scat that I had ever seen was all over the summit of the mountain.
I really didn't bother taking pictures here. Sorry for that now.............
From 5, take Route 12 east until you come to Randle. Once there turn right onto Route 131 and go for about a mile or so and then turn left onto Forest Service Road 23 (nice paved road). Follow 23 until you come to the "Y" in the road and stay to your left onto Forest service Road 21 (another paved road). Then make a right turn onto a gravel road, Forest Service Road 56. Follow this until you come to Forest Service Road 5603 and make a right hand turn. Follow 5603 until you reach the trail head for the Pacific Crest Trail (2000). Park here and follow the trail north for about 0.6 miles. Potato Hill is on your right and all you need to do here is head up the mountain until you reach the summit....no trails to follow.
NW Forest Pass is required to park at the trail head. It can be purchased in Randle at the ranger station for $35.
There are plenty of Forest Service campgrounds in the area. The closet that I'm aware of is Keenes Horse Camp located to the southwest on Forest Service Road 2329.....about (5) miles from the trail head. A little further and in the same general location is Killen Creek Campground and Horseshoe Lake Campground. There's plenty of dispersed free camping in the national forest.
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