Ascent of Lone Pine Butte on 2021-04-25

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Ken Russell
Bobby Boxer
Date:Sunday, April 25, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Lone Pine Butte
    Elevation:4720 ft / 1438 m

Ascent Trip Report

This area has historically been tricky for access as the north slope of the range is closed Yakama Reservation lands, while the south slope was negatively signed timber and residential land. In 2016, WDFW began purchasing land tracts for nonmotorized preservation. There are still a few access-related caveats, Section 23 along the ridgeline remains private and negatively signed, the lands north of the reservation boundary are still closed to all but the tribe, a few residences are still scattered about, and access on other potential route options is unverified. Credit to Andy Boos for pioneering and documenting this route.

Drive a long ways to and along the Bickleton Highway and proceed to Box Springs Road where my track begins. Pretty good road when dry, a bit of rutting and erosion but the road did not cause any concern. Park in Section 25 at 3560' at a WDFW parking lot with signage allowing further nonmotorized access beyond the gated road heading W. This is right before the unnamed dry creek eminating from an unnamed Spring. We walked for 17 seconds and turned right uphill on a long abandoned but easily walked track. It got a little bit brushier at 3800' or so with low thin branchy brush but fairly minor. At roughly 3960' the old track we were following angled right and we went left, the road died and we then went through easy open forest to catch another old road at 4260' which then intersected the 4WD ridgeline road at 4400'. From there it's a flat roadwalk until at the base of the peak. The road conveniently stays S of the reservation boundary but does traverse through that Section 23 which is signed forestland on both ends. The road is little used but did still have some tire tracks. At the base of the peak, we went with the ridgeline but this was a bit brushy and had deadfall. The summit is open talus grass with views to Indian Rock and distant features. On the descent we went SE to hit the road, this was much less brushy and superior to our ascent track. The rest of the descent was more or less the same but we stuck with a track going E down to 4200', then headed S. This was a bit brushier so the more direct co-linear SE to NW track is better. Overall, our route had a bit of minor brush but was relatively smooth on the ground.

There are other route options on paper, but others will have to test them. Traversing W and then going N from Bear Spring to hit the ridgeline ought to be entirely public. Going N on the road in Section 26 would offer an all road route but may well be very abandoned and that still goes through Section 23. There are numerous other logging tracks or old abandoned jeep roads not on the map and often they are only marginally evident on the ground. Spring would be best for this one and snow is now gone. Fall may feature many hunters. Surprisingly, we did see two other vehicles parked at the TH, which we guess were turkey hunters.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1600 ft / 487 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1600 ft / 487 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.2 mi / 13.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1+ Brush
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Animal/Pet
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1380 ft / 420 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1160 ft / 353 m; Extra: 220 ft / 67m
    Loss on way in:220 ft / 67 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:East Ridgeline
    Start Trailhead:WDFW Parking Lot  3560 ft / 1085 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1380 ft / 420 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1160 ft / 353 m; Extra: 220 ft / 67m
    Gain on way out:220 ft / 67 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:East Ridgeline
    End Trailhead:WDFW Parking Lot  3560 ft / 1085 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Eric Noel
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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