I drove in on Cleto road from 95, it's only about 5 miles and the road is reasonably good. This leaves you with a round trip hike of about 8 miles and 3000' of gain along the "south east ridge", but avoids the difficulties of navigating a lot of potentially difficult roads.
This was the third of three Oregon county highpoints for the day - all of which were 90 to 95 percent jeeping with the last stretch being hiked.
I followed Caleb Morris' excellent directions to reach Little Pinky Reservoir (dry). The Cottonwood Creek crossing was dry but short and steep and required good approach and departure clearances to drive through. If you cannot continue in your vehicle it will add 6+ miles round trip to your hike versus starting at Little Pinky Reservoir. Followed Caleb's directions up the south ridge. Followed a 4x4 track on the plateau leading through the mountain mahogany.
I used Edward Earl's directions. Even with a car, they worked great. With that said, the large dip in the raod at the seasonal stream crossing caused my front bumper to touch rocks.
The hike seemed longer than it actually was. Mostly open country and cattle land. At one point, I left the old upper jeep track to side-traverse a slope and stumbled onto a large patch of obsidian. It was a neat find.
Was "guided" by the Oregon high desert legend CalebEOC up his route from the south. We climbed Beatys Butte and Stevenson BM on the same day. While descending Stevenson BM we were fortunate to enjoy a beautiful fall sunset.
Tried to drive up from the south/west via Disaster Peak Road, Trout Creek Rd, and 15 Mile Reservoir Rd. A few miles up the Trout Creek Rd (about 24 miles from Mcdermit) there was a section of deep, soft sand where I barely escaped getting stuck with my rented AWD Ford Escape. The road looked just as bad or worse ahead, so I turned around and went back to hike up from Little Pinky Reservoir (4 hrs car-to-car). The Trout Creek Rd may have been in abnormally bad shape this year due to firefighting traffic but I wouldn't recommend trying that drive without a 4WD rig with huge tires, sand ladders, jacks, shovels, and a winch.
See comment. Long drive, lots of rocks, be prepared. Not for the weak of heart. You need a good car, extra tires, and a lot of nerve.
For the peakbagger, however, it is a great view, nice benchmark and an interesting summit log. Full day trip. Enjoy!
Roads still snowed in this time of year, so I hiked from little Pink Reservoir which is a short distance off the Disaster Peak Road. 4.5 mile ridgewalk one way with 2500 feet of elevation gain. Could see a snowy ridgeline in the distance behind the northern end of the Santa Rosa Range, think it was the Bull Run Mountains.
Pat and I drove in from Whitehorse Ranch. I was glad I had 10 PLY tires! Even with that we were one thunderstorm away from being stuck forever. The drive took about 3 1/2 hours including route finding ... the walk to the top took 10 minutes. This is a really cool area with amazing canyons (and thus the name 'Oregon Canyon Mountains').
I was looking to take advantage of my 4x4 truck that I was only planning on having for a short while longer, so I made the long drive in to this lonely summit.
This was one of the more enjoyable county highpoints I've done, even though it wasn't much of a hike. That high plateau was remote and very wild, with lots of wildlife and great views of the desert mountains. We were very thankful for those 6-ply sidewalls as there were sharp rocks hidden by overhanging brush in some areas, and I hit more than one such hazard that would have taken out street tires, and have done so to other less fortunate highpointers on those roads. A great trip with my great friend Dean.
Bob Bolton and I camped out on top of the plateau and enjoyed the great view of the planet Mars (which was very visible) but had to listen to coyotes most of the night, some who came quite close to my small tent while Bob slept in his 4runner. We then drove close to the COHP and made a minor trek to the high point, amazed by all the deer that we were seeing on the way (who were avoiding the deerhunters). The area itself was very interesting and varied despite the lack of trees.
From there we drove into Nevada and picked up the Humboldt county highpoint, Granite Peak.