Ascent of Bunker Hill on 2019-09-21
|Others in Party:||Cheryl Thomas|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Saturday, September 21, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||11473 ft / 3496 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWe drove up highway 376 to Kingston Canyon road. We followed the road through the tiny village of Kingston and it turns to dirt shortly after leaving the town. From here the road is NFD 002 or Kingston Creek road. This road was a joy to drive on having climbed Mount Jefferson the day before. NFD 002 is well maintained and we were able to go 40 mph on most of it. You pass Kingston Campground where you could stay if you want to camp. You then soon pass a reservoir called Groves Lake. The road gets a little rougher here but is still fairly nice. There are some large mud puddles and water on the road to negotiate until you reach Basin Canyon. The turn off to Basin Canyon road is difficult to see as the Basin Canyon road is almost grown over. You should have a waypoint to find it. See Kyle Wilson's trip report earlier this month for a waypoint to this junction. You must drive steeply down across a stream and then steeply up and to the right to get on this road. We drove past it and had to find someplace to turn around to get to it. The Basin Canyon road is almost disappearing into the brush but yet its not as bad as NFD 010 to Mount Jefferson trail head. Drive up this road until you see a clearing on the left or a little bit farther up the road there is a clearing where the road ends. Where the road ends is where the old Basin Canyon trail used to start. We found the start of the old trail and followed it up and to the left on the first switchback up the hill. Shortly, however, the trail disappears and we missed the switchback going to the right. We tried to pick up the trail on the way up the hill but the trail has deteriorated so much that you might as well just climb straight up. As we neared the top of the hill we picked up the trail again for a short distance. At the top of the ridge you can pick up some animal tracks that follow the ridge up. After a bit you will see the trail again. We followed the trail around a sub peak on the ridge and then followed the switchback on the trail until we were on the ridge above the sub peak. Here the ridge becomes very large and rounded with plenty of scrub bushes. We followed what remains of the trail and then animal tracks until we were just hiking in open country. It was easy to hike up in between the small scrub bushes here even though the ridge starts to get steep. The route follows the spine of the broad ridge up and to the right where there is a saddle just before the terrain becomes very steep and quite rocky at about 10,600 ft. At this point if you inspect the side of the mountain you will see a faint trail going up and off diagonally to the right. This trail became a godsend since without it you would have to scramble up a steep talus slope. We followed this cairned trail all the way until we were above the talus and back on firm ground. From here we followed a GPS track but the route at this point becomes obvious. Soon you reach a peak with communications equipment on it and you realize you have to dip down and go back up to yet another sub peak with communications gear on it and then traverse a short ridge line until you finally reach the actual summit. Altogether, a pleasant hike with the trail through the talus. It was a tad steep and my calves were very sore afterwards.
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