Ascent of Flagstaff Mountain on 2014-05-12
|Date:||Monday, May 12, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||2460 ft / 749 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI had done a fair amount of research on this peak, including looking at historical maps to try to figure out where the access trail to the fire tower was. I could faintly see something on satellite images, but in the end, I got lucky and came across some locals driving down the road that knew exactly where the trail started. As luck would have it, they were the only people I saw on the 10+ mile dirt road that got me to the trailhead.
For access, take Flagstaff Road to Loop Road and head northeast. About a half mile in on Loop Road, there will be two large boulders stacked on the left side of the road, one of which has a smiley-face spray-painted on it. Take a left immediately before or after these rocks. You can drive in about 3/4 of a mile to a grassy field where the unmarked trail heads northwest and uphill on an obvious grassy road grade. It is apparent that this trail sees some maintenance from a local snowmobile club, but it is not suitable for ATVs in the warmer months because of the soft, wet nature of the trail. This trail will take you all the way to the summit, just follow it as it meanders and switchbacks its way up to the summit. Avoid the side trails and logging cuts - the main trail is wide enough for a snowmobile to pass for the whole distance to the top. At one point, the trail coincides with a stream, and you can either rock hop up or stay on the banks to the sides.
At the summit, the tower is still standing but the lower stairs and the cab have been removed. There are fine views in all directions, but the trees have grown up enough that you would have to climb on the tower to get truly unobstructed views. I climbed up high enough to get a hand on the bottom rung of the ladder, but I was alone and didn't want to risk a fall to actually climb to the top. If it wasn't so windy and if I had a hiking partner, I surely would have climbed up. The benchmark was intact. I was really happy with this hike - the woods on the upper part of the mountain looked thick and nasty, so I'm glad I didn't have to bushwhack it!
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