Washington County Highpoints

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The Washington county highpoints (COHPs) were first identified by Andy Martin in 1994. Soon thereafter, Washington peakbagger extraordinaire John Roper completed the list. For 10 years nobody followed in Roper's footsteps, but in 2004 Bob Bolton was the second person to complete the list, followed two days later by then county highpoint king Bob Packard. One year later Martin Shetter notched the fourth completion of this list. Paul Klenke achieved the fifth completion of the Washington COHPs on Mount Rainier on July 27th, 2008. One week later Duane Gilliland also finished this list on Mount Daniel. Edward Earl completed the list on November 15th, 2008 completion in Wahkiakum County. Then on July 30, 2010, Andy Boos completed the list on Lewis County's Big Horn, and on August 24, 2010, Paul Michelson also completed the state on Big Horn. Craig Willis became the 10th Washington COHP completer on Mount Baker on June 20th, 2012. Adam Helman was the 11th to finish Washington. He finished on Mt. Adams (a good peak name for him to finish on!) in Yakima County on August 17, 2012. Incidentally, by climbing Mt. Adams, he not only finished Washington but all of the Western Contiguous United States at the same time. Just four days later on August 21, 2012, Greg Schmidt became the 12th person to finish the state by summiting Gold Mountain in Kitsap County.

Washington is deemed by the county highpointing community to be the most difficult of the 48 states to complete, from a climbing perspective. (Several other states have even bigger problems, such as swamps and private property issues.)

Here is evidence of the climbing difficulty of Washington's counties relative to other states.

  1. Of the 20 so-called "Apex" counties, those in the 49 states (excluding Alaska) that are deemed to be the most technically challenging, 7 are in Washington. They are:
    The other Apex counties are distributed as follows:

    • California 4 (North Palisade, Ritter, Shasta, Lyell)
    • Hawaii 1 (Kawaikini)
    • Montana 3 (Stimson, Cleveland, Granite)
    • Oregon 2 (Hood, Jefferson)
    • Wyoming 3 (Gannett, Washakie Needles, Grand Teton)

  2. Of the 46 county highpoints that require a total elevation gain effort of at least 5,000 feet, 11 are in Washington. This is more than there are even in Alaska, although of course Alaska is much more difficult than Washington! The 11 climbs with over 5,000 feet of effort are:
    The other 5,000-foot effort climbs are distributed as follows:

    • Alaska 10
    • California 4 (North Palisade, Ritter, Shasta, Whitney)
    • Colorado 5 (Blanca, Eolus, Holy Cross, Longs, Mt. Wilson)
    • Idaho 3 (Big Baldy, Borah, Hyndman)
    • Montana 7 (Cleveland, Douglas, Granite, Lowary, McDonald, Stimson, Wood)
    • Oregon 2 (Hood, Jefferson)
    • Utah 1 (Ibapah)
    • Wyoming 3 (Francs, Gannett, Grand Teton)

Photo album

Click here for Bob's photo album on the Washington county highpoints.


County Name Elev. Peak Quad Trip reports and
topo map links
Adams 1 area in Karakul Hills 2,100 Karakul Hills Link
Asotin " 2 spot elevations on Ray Ridge" 6,185
Saddle Butte Link
Benton Rattlesnake Hills 3,629 Maiden Spring Link
Chelan Bonanza Peak 9,511 Holden Link
Clallam Gray Wolf Ridge 7,218 Tyler Peak Link
Clark on county line 4,120 Bobs Mountain Link
Columbia Oregon Butte 6,387 Oregon Butte Link
Cowlitz Goat Mountain 4,965 Goat Mountain Link
Douglas Badger Mountain 4,254 Orondo Link
Ferry Copper Butte 7,140 Copper Butte Link
Franklin unnamed area 1,640 Washtucna South Link
Garfield Diamond Peak and
unnamed spot
Diamond Peak Link
Grant spot elevation 2,899 Rattlesnake Springs Link
Grays Harbor "Wynoochee Point" 4,880 Wynoochee Lake Link
Island 5 areas 580 Camano & Juniper Beach Link
Jefferson Mount Olympus 7,969 Mount Olympus Link
King Mount Daniel 7,960 Mount Daniel Link
Kitsap Gold Mountain 1,761 Wildcat Lake Link
Kittitas Mount Daniel 7,960 Mount Daniel Link
Klickitat "Indian Rock and
spot elevation"
Indian Rock Link
Lewis "Big Horn" 8,000 Walupt Lake Link
Lincoln Lilienthal Mountain 3,568 McCoy Lake Link
Mason Mount Stone 6,612 Mount Skokomish Link
Okanogan North Gardner Mtn. 8,956 Silver Star Mountain Link
Pacific unnamed area 3,000 Blaney Creek Link
Pend Oreille Gypsy Peak 7,320 Gypsy Peak Link
Pierce Mount Rainier 14,410 Mount Rainier West Link
San Juan Mt Constitution 2,407 Mount Constitution Link
Skagit Buckner Mountain 9,112 Goode Mountain Link
Skamania on E co. line 8,920 Mount Adams West Link
Snohomish Glacier Peak 10,520 Glacier Peak East Link
Spokane Mount Spokane 5,883 Mount Spokane Link
Stevens Abercrombie Mountain 7,308 Abercrombie Mountain Link
Thurston spot elev. (Quiemuth Peak) 2,922 Eatonville Link
Wahkiakum BM Huckleberry on H. Ridge 2,673 Skamokawa Pass Link
Walla Walla Lewis Peak 4,888 Deadman Peak Link
Whatcom Mount Baker 10,781 Mount Baker Link
Whitman Tekoa Mountain 4,009 Tekoa Mountain Link
Yakima Mount Adams 12,276 Mount Adams East Link

Private Property Problems

Thirteen of the county highpoints in Washington, exactly one third of them, involve access considerations. However, most of them are fairly minor issues and are included moreso to give full knowledge of what is going on rather than because these are major obstacles. As always, please respect landowner rights and ask permission. In many cases a landowner has and will continue to grant permission if approached in a considerate and friendly manner. Bear in mind that how you deal with access issues can impact not only how your trip goes but also the conditions that future highpointers face. More detailed information may be found among the trip reports at cohp.org. Below are all potential property issues as of June 2006:

Highpoints affected by private property issues

Adams COHPAdams Cohp

Karakul Hills Adams County- Privately held ranch/farm land. The landowner has given permission at least once in the past. Trip report

Beezley Hills Grant County - Rural farm land. Trip report

Lilienthal Mtn Lincoln County- A benchmark is close to the summit.
LIncoln County highpointLincoln Cohp
There are several intervening fences en route depending on approach. The Northern access is signed no trespassing.

Rattlesnake Hills Benton County -Communication towers on highpoint.
Benton County HPBenton Cohp
This is surrounded by either rural ranch, farm land or off limits Hanford Reservation land (no access from the north). There used to be an approach from the south via Prosser but that is no longer available. The only access is from the west as described in this trip report. Study the route and then topozone and chart your way to the highpoint.

Badger Mtn Douglas County - At least some of the access roads to
Key junctionDouglas Cohp
this area are signed as private.
<A HREF=http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160 TARGET=_blank>Dean  Mr. Enchantments  Molen</A> near the Douglas County highpointDouglas Cohp
The first of the two highpoint candidates is right next to a dirt road. The second highpoint candidate lies inside a smaller fenced property with a barn which seems to have been abandoned in recent years. Realistically there should not be any problems on this highpoint unless conditions change.

Franklin COHP - This is active farmland. The farmer has previously given permission at least during certain seasons for which there is no ongoing farmwork that precludes the convenience of a visit. Trip report A recent trip to the highpoint (March 9th, 07) found the road to the highpoint blocked by huge piles of tumbleweeds in several places although the road everywhere else was in good condition. You may need to park and walk if you are unable to forge your way through the tumbleweed piles. The fields in this section have been unattended for the past year or two. Also, stop at the farmhouse and knock on the door to see if Mr. Ross is around prior to heading out to the highpoint. (Dean Molen)

Island COHP - This area is a mix of suburban housing and forested land. Because there are several contours for this HP it involves multiple people's residential property. Ask nicely and they just might let you hurt yourself on their stinging nettles. During a May 2006 visit all of the homeowners we encountered were friendly and didn't mind us poking around.

Gold Mtn Kitsap County - This area skirts the Bremerton Watershed or City of Bremerton Water Utility District as it is formally known. In recent years hikers have taken the route from Minnard Road generally avoids the watershed and stays primarily on DNR land provided you stay on the road itself. However, the last half mile or so of road does definitely enter the border of the Water Utility District area. Reportedly a recent visitor found signage all along the right side of the road and at the towers but no particular signage to indicate the point at which you enter Watershed land. It should be noted that trespassing on a watershed is taken much more seriously in Washington than is normal trespassing. Watersheds are patrolled and they actually mean it when they say trespassers will be arrested and prosecuted. The summit features communications towers.

Indian Rock Klickitat County - This is rural forested land along the edge of the Yakama Indian Reservation. The reservation does not allow non-tribal members onto their land without permission from a tribal member in general. The 5823 point is just outside of the Yakama Indian Reservation; the 5822 point lies just inside the reservation boundary. The approach road parallels the boundary, weaving barely in or out of the reservation as it traverses the ridge. There should be little chance of a problem here due to the nature of the land but technically you are on private land.

Pacific COHP/Wahkiakum COHP - The land for Pacific COHP belongs to Weyerhaeuser; Wahkiakum COHP is owned by the Cathlumet Timber Co. Neither area is signed. For the most part they don't care if you use their land but they don't want you to get in the way of their logging trucks and neither do you. Go on the weekend if possible. Permission can be granted by Weyerhaeuser at their office in Pe Ell but most people don't bother to seek it. Hunting season is the preferred season for Huckleberry Ridge as this reduces the length of the roadwalk from ~11 miles to ~22 miles due to the opening of a gate for nine days in November for elk huning season. Wear orange, go on a weekend and you'll be fine.

Lewis Peak
Walla Walla County - This is land belonging to some sort of timber company and has been actively logged in the past. The peak is signed no trespassing shortly before the summit. I'm not aware of anyone permitting or denying access.

Tekoa Mtn
Whitman County - Communications towers on the summit. Uncertain who the land belongs to but it does not seem to be any sort of a problem at all at currently.


For another overview with a short synopsis of each county, see John Roper's page on the Washington COHPs.

Trip Reports

Click here to see the trip report page for Washington COHPs at COHP.ORG. The page also contains links to the Topozone.com maps for each highpoint.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Redwic - Mar 23, 2009 12:53 pm - Voted 10/10

Benton County/ Rattlesnake Hills

From yesterday (March 22, 2009): This was my second WA CoHP (Mount Rainier was my first, back in 2007). It was a drive-up; the directions written by Barney Metz were perfect. However, I (plus my wife & one friend) might be amongst the last to take that western approach. The ranch-hands at the ranch site 3.4 miles in said that was "their" private road and threatened to have any trespassers arrested that use that road. We were fine. Future travelers might not be. It is possible that future permission might be granted by the ranch, but the ranch-hands made it sound like that was unlikely. A different Rattlesnake Hills summit approach, if any, is recommended to be found and used.


Dean - Mar 23, 2009 1:10 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Benton County/ Rattlesnake Hills

I also did Mt. Rainier as my first county highpoint so it is nice to get that one done and out of the way. Congrat's. I know that Benton county is a pain now but Eric Noel did it last fall and said the folks he encountered were nice and helpful. I believe there is a BLM right of way and a road to the towers. I did Benton from the south but that route is totally off limits now and heavily posted. You can hike in from the highway but it is a bit of a grunt. I originally had my route posted on cohp.org but removed it when they changed the road situation from the south. However, you've got it and I congratulate you. You might find this TR by Eric of interest: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cohp/message/18273


Redwic - Mar 24, 2009 1:35 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Benton County/ Rattlesnake Hills

It might just be who we encountered that particular day. Someone might want to confirm the "BLM right of way" theory.


ericnoel - Apr 20, 2009 3:59 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Benton County/ Rattlesnake Hills

I'm assuming that you were at the dairy ranch on the SW side of the peak? We tried that route in October and they declined to give us permission based on the roads being wet (true) and the potential for tearing up the roads into mud. However, they said that we could come back another time and use the property. So instead we found an approach from directly W at the saddle along the highway. This is public WDFW land and while there were a couple of gates, it appears to be public land. That seems to be the best way to do the peak currently and I did post a TR for such to the COHP group but it is not online (yet). I'll see if I can update our page here too.


Redwic - Apr 16, 2009 2:06 am - Voted 10/10

Quiemuth Peak (Thurston County HP)

I have just contributed "Quiemuth Peak" to SummitPost, and added it to the "Mountains/Rocks" section of this SP page. So if you want to also put the link in your chart, now, you can.


Dean - Apr 16, 2009 9:36 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Quiemuth Peak (Thurston County HP)

Power here just came back on and now its time to go to work. 7 inches of snow in Lehi, amazing. I'll check the pics later.


Redwic - Apr 25, 2009 2:11 pm - Voted 10/10

Gold Mountain (Kitsap CoHP)

I have now added a SummitPost page for Gold Mountain, for educational purposes only.

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