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Ascent of Mount Emily on 2016-05-30

Climber: Austin D. Smith

Date:Monday, May 30, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Mount Emily
    Location:USA-Oregon
    Elevation:6110 ft / 1862 m

Ascent Trip Report

Note: Our route down turned out to be about half the driving distance on much better roads. I would recommend reversing my directions from our drive down unless you are wanting to climb Drumhill Ridge or Indian Rock (which is really cool if you have more time). You can also make it most (like 2.5 miles or less) if not all the way to the summit with a 2WD, low clearance vehicle on our route down. (My way down is the way Bob Bolton took up I believe).

After a disappointing weekend of getting weathered out of Aneroid, Chief Joseph, and Hural Divide peaks, we weren’t going to go home with only bagging Hat Point so we decided to take a detour to climb Mount Emily (a county prom peak). I found Edward Earl’s TR in which he started from La Grand Center off of US-30. His way seems to be the least efficient way with the worse roads and requires the most walking. (However, not doing it, I can’t say for sure). After reading his TR, we decided to just start from Exit 243 off of I-84 marked “Summit Rd. Mount Emily” and see what happens.

Coming from either direction, take Exit 243 off the I-84. (My trip odometer readings start after you have crossed the overpass over the highway if coming east bound on the I-84 – where the gravel road starts. We exited going West Bound and started the odometer as soon as you turn right onto the gravel road.

Zero your trip odometer and head up the big gravel road. (Don’t turn off onto any side roads – stay on the big gravel road). The gravel road is flat and smooth and is easily navigable with a 2WD and low clearance vehicle for 18.7 miles at which point, you need a moderate or higher clearance vehicle. You do not need a 4WD vehicle for any part of the road unless it’s got snow or has been wet for a long time – probably making it muddy.
At 6.0 miles, you will encounter a little wash boarding – Just noting this because we were going between 45-55 MPH and hit this pretty hard. After this point you should drop your speed some as you will occasionally encounter mild wash boarding and small pot holes
At 9.1 miles there will be a sign on the right saying “Summit G.S. 4 mi” (not Emily summit)
At 12.3 miles you will come to an oblique 4 way junction. Continue straight (slight right) on the unmarked road (topo says Mount Emily rd. but there is no signs). We mistakenly turned left onto 3113 and after 1 mile (13.1 miles) realized we were on the summit of Drumhill Ridge. So we went and stood on the highpoint on the grassy knob where the metal pole is. We backtracked to the 4 way junction and went the right way.
At 12.7 miles, the road becomes rougher with more wash boarding, pot holes, and bigger chunks of gravel but still navigable by most 2WD, low clearance vehicle.
At 17.9 miles, continue heading up left (don’t take the small service road to the right). At this point it gets just a little rougher (still ok if you have 2WD low clearance vehicle), and begins to climb uphill more aggressively.
At. 18.7 miles, you will come to a 3 way junction. (The road your on tee’s into a road). Turn right onto 3120. As mentioned before, at this point, the road narrows and becomes much rougher and becomes a bit rutted. You will want a car with medium or higher clearance and decent tires from here to the summit. If you don’t, you can walk the last 5.4 miles.
At 21.1 miles, there is a post on the right side with a brown sign with the number 3120 on it. Just noting this as a way to check and make sure your on the right road.
At 21.4 miles, you will come to Indian Rock Overlook. There is an incredible overlook from there and definitely worth the drive to get to there.
At 22.3 miles, you will come to a fork in the road. Turn left on 500.
At 23.3 miles, there will be an unmarked, but vary obvious dirt road on the left. This is the road to the summit. If you don’t feel comfortable driving the road from there (it’s totally drivable if you can get over the hump in the road), its only .8 miles from there to summit.
At. 24.1 miles (.8 from unmarked road) you will come to all the cell and radio towers which is where the summit is. According to Edward Earls TR, this is where the summit is: “The highest natural earth is probably under a three legged tower on the SE side of the complex. A dirt pile behind a shack on the opposite side of the complex may be higher, but is definitely artificial: some metal girders are behind it”. We just walked around all the cell towers and stood on a rock under one we surmised was the highest natural earth point and then stood on all the little mounds of dirt in the vicinity just to make sure we tagged the true summit. Not a lot of good views from the top sadly.
24.1 miles from exit 243

On the summit we had 4G and 5 bars – was kinda surprised my phone didn’t explode from the signal being so close! Since we had connection, we put “home” into the GPS and it took us down a different route. We were a bit skeptical, but the road looked okay so we decided to follow the GPS. (Turns out, our route down would have been much faster and shorter – especially given we were heading west bound on the I-84). As mentioned before, would recommend back tracking this route to the summit.
Zero your trip odometer at the summit.

From the summit, its .8 miles back to road 3120. Instead of turning right on 3120, the GPS took us left. The road was surprisingly in better condition.
After turning left onto 3120, at 2.5 miles, there will be an odd 3 way split. Going in almost the opposite direction, road 530 will take off. That’s how you’ll know where this “3 way” split is. Your going to continue going right – don’t take either of the roads to the left.
At 3.4 miles, you will join onto road (3120 I belive). Regardless of the road number, take a left when you come to the 3 way at 3.4 miles.
At 3.9 miles on the right side facing down the road (opposite of the direction your going), there a mile marker type sign saying “Road 3120 600). If you see that, you are on the right road.
At 6.3 miles, there is a sign on the left side of the road (facing down the road) that says “Mount Emily Wilderness”
At 7.0 miles, you will again come to a 3 way/T intersection. Turn left onto Foxhill Rd. (unmarked).
At 9.1 miles, there is a parking lot/TRHD on the right with a big kiosk that says “Mount Emily Recreation OHV Park.
At 10.5 miles, Foxhill road becomes Blackhawk Lane
At 11.1 miles, the gravel road ends and becomes pavement at a stop sign and with another sign facing down the road on the left that says “Mount Emily Recreation Area” (NOTE: To get to here, you could probably just put Union County Fair Grounds into your GPS and spare yourself trying to follow my backward directions from below here).
At 11.4 miles, continue straight. Blackhawk Lane becomes North Second Street
At 11.9 miles you come to a 4 way stop. Continue straight
At 12.3 miles at the signal, turn right onto Adams Ave.
At 13.6 miles, you will merge right onto the overpass over the highway and merge onto I-84 westbound.
If your taking this as your route up, take exit 259.
13.6 miles from summit to merge onto the freeway.

15.7 miles between exit 259 and 243
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:10 ft / 3 m
    Total Elevation Loss:10 ft / 3 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0 mi / 0 km
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0 mi / 0 km
    Route:Mount Emily Summit Rd - 3120
    Start Trailhead:Exit 243  6100 ft / 1859 m
    Time:1 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0 mi / 0 km
    Route:3120 - Blackhawk Lane
    End Trailhead:Exit 259  6100 ft / 1859 m
    Time:1 Minutes



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