Ascent of Grizzly Mountain on 2010-06-27

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:John R
Sofy the dog
Date:Sunday, June 27, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Grizzly Mountain
    Elevation:6397 ft / 1949 m

Ascent Trip Report

As far as the hike, we started at about 5400 on the SW side of the peak at the point where the road kind of crosses a drainage. From here the road heads steeply uphill. John felt that I could not drive this but I think I could have. The road is steep but the roadbed is decent. It is true that there is not really any place to turn around if it gets to be too much. At maybe 5800 or 5900 the road deteriorates to a clear 4WD status. A good 4WD might be able to drive to the S summit but it might also not be worth it so you could park and walk from where we did. We never even saw there the so called 4WD road comes in from the SE.

At the S summit, check out the old lookout. Good views. Drop down and walk the ridge N to the so-called true summit. We thought the S summit actually looked higher but the USGS says the N is higher so you have to do both. The country across is just wide open forest and pleasant travel. At the mapped bumps in between, you'll find an odd and intriguing set of rock formations that seem quite out of place in the typical Eastern WA forest. We didn't climb the two largest of these but one looks easy and the other looks to be maybe class 4. We followed a faint boot path around the E side of these, no trouble. It's clear from the N and S summits that the intervening spires are lower and not HP candidates. The N summit is a boulder heap for the last 80 feet. More views. You might not like the boulder hopping but at least it is a nice change of pace from the usual.

Now, as for the approach drive, that gets tricky. We went up Sitdown Creek. We turned off N on BIA 14 and followed mapped roads to Section 25. Here it got weird. I think a downhill abandoned fork is the mapped road and that looked retired. Instead we found the main road had a tough uphill rutted section for a tenth of a mile that I was barely able to make it up. This might be called 4WD although I did it with 2WD but I did not think I was gonna make it as I was doing so. From there we immediately hit a good unmapped road that traversed W and met back up with the switchbacking section to the SE of the peak. We took this until 5000' and then continued traversing W. In Section 34 we turned R on a short mapped connection road and then turned back E once hitting the Grizzly Mtn summit road. I can't recommend our route due to the one nasty section but it did work for us and might for you if you can't find something better. I believe that maybe you can stay in Sitdown Creek longer and then go up the switchbacks on the S side of the peak and that supposedly works but I have no experience with that.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1157 ft / 352 m
    Extra Gain:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Road then Forest
    Trailhead:Grizzly Mtn Summit Road  5400 ft / 1645 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy

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