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Ascent of Pine Mountain Lookout on 2005-11-20

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, November 20, 2005
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Pine Mountain Lookout
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3793 ft / 1156 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Calpella on U.S. 101 turn east for 5 miles on CA 20; then north on Potter Valley Rd. From Hopper's Corner store (6.3 miles from CA 20), take the Eel River Rd ( crossing the Eel River after 6 miles) to paved FSR M1 and the Soda Creek Store approx. 16.5 miles from Hopper's Corner Store. Continue south on M1, which becomes a dirt road after 4 miles. There is a signed turnoff to Pine Mountain L.O. 6.7 miles south of the Soda Creek Store on M1. From here the route becomes a bit intricate: Follow FSR 18N05 0.3 mile to a 3-way intersection, where a sign reads "Eel River--9 miles." At 2.4 miles from M1, FSR 18N05 intersects FSR 17N23. Follow FSR 17N23 uphill to the left for 0.4 miles to the unmarked entrance to Pine Mountain L.O. on the south side of the road. Here a white road sign in red letters notes vehicle restrictions and to the side of the road a sign "OHV 77." There is an unmarked gate several hundred yards before the secluded L.O., which is situated at the edge of a pleasant forested area overlooking the Eel River drainage. Unlike most fire lookouts with a full panorama, Pine Mountain has a limited one of about 180 degrees. The L.O. is not at the top of Pine Mountain but on its western shoulder. The rustic ground-level structure was built in 1933 and used to detect fires until 1942, when the U. S. Army took it over as an aircraft warning station. It has been renovated and is available for rent.

I returned to M1 and followed it for 21 miles to the USFS district office at Upper Lake. It is paved after the first 5 miles before heading down the steep switchbacks of Elk Mountain past the Middle Creek Campground.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Good



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