Ascent of House Mountain on 2001-08-18

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Vi R.
Date:Saturday, August 18, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:House Mountain
    Elevation:2080 ft / 633 m

Ascent Trip Report

House Mountain is a popular hiking area around Knoxville, the peak itself the highpoint of Knox County. We weren't in a hurry, and didn't leave the hotel until 9 a.m. We followed local roads all over the place, parking in a small lot in the House Mountain WIldlife Area.

We hiked up the West Overlook Trail (this is a few yards past the "Mtn Trail" junctions, see below). The West Overlook gains moderately steep to a rocky outcrop at the west end of the ridge in less than a mile. We saw a few people relaxing here, enjoying the views. We took a break here, too. We then continued on the ridge, hiking east and following the trail up and down a series of bumps. In a half-mile, we came upon a small structure, and past it, in the woods a little bit, the remnants of a lookout tower. This was one candidate for the highpoint.

The second candidate is about another half-mile east. The trail drops a hundred feet to a junction for the Turkey Trail. We stayed on the main trail (east) and regained our lost elevation, coming to another rock outcrop. The highpoint here is a large rock that presents a challenge to scale. We stayed here twenty minutes to enjoy the views.

Coming back, we met up with a couple hikers who mentioned that the Turkey Trail that we'd just passed would take us back to the parking lot, so we followed it instead of retracing our steps. This trail covers a mile, and re-emerges with our original trail at the aforementioned "Mtn Trail" junction at the bottom. There is a possible point of confusion: there are two "Mtn Trail"s at the bottom, but they meet up together a hundred or so yards into the woods (coming down, we saw this fork which confused us). Coming up this trail, you'd come to the ridge about equidistant between the two highpoint areas.

Our round trip took two hours. The weather was nice, about 70 degrees. But the humidity was almost 95% and the air was still. What this meant was that any sweat would not evaporate. I completely sweated through my clothes, wringing out the goop at the end. I'm not used to such stifling humidity. I like Arizona and its 6% humidity.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1100 ft / 335 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1100 ft / 335 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1100 ft / 335 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Start Trailhead:980 ft / 298 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1100 ft / 335 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    End Trailhead:980 ft / 298 m

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