Ascent of Moxie Mountain on 2019-09-16

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, September 16, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Moxie Mountain
    Elevation:2920 ft / 890 m

Ascent Trip Report

A tough hike on overgrown logging roads and dense whack southwest bound ... 3 miles, 1170' gain, 4:50 hours RT.

The main purpose of this TR is to inform future Peakbaggers to stay away from the route that I took. Much too difficult. Once on top I learned that perhaps there is a much easier trail approach coming up from the southeastern side (all as reported below).

I came here armed with Gabriel Couet's GPS Track - a north eastern approach. Today this is a very rough/tough route.

Driving Directions to Gabriel's TH.
I found my way to the JCT Hwy#16/Town Line road (45.09977,-69.79157), east of the town of Bingham and zeroed my odo.
00.00M ... drove north on Town Line Road from Hwy #16.
02.73M ... reverse fork, stayed straight on Dead Water Road and always straight thereafter at all ensuing jcts.
04.80M ... fork, left is Heald Pond Road "south eastern approach" as noted below, I stayed right.
06.71M ... fork, right is Bald Mountain Road, I stayed left on Troutsdale Road still northbound.
09.57M ... turned left (westbound) onto unsigned road (45.22572,-69.82024) and immediately cross over river. Saw a huge/gorgeous bald eagle here, I think he put on a show for me. I stayed straight on all ensuing jcts.
11.93M ... fork, stayed left (southbound)
12.49M ... fork with a pond on the left, I stayed left still southbound.
13.36M ... small clearing, parked here, road still continues south. This was Gabriel's TH (45.21511,-69.87384, elev 1755')

The satellite imagery nicely shows Gabriel's route, however these are old images and therefore not a true picture of today's ground conditions.

The first section of the route, 3/4 mile westbound, are on old logging roads which are heavily overgrown with shoulder high grass - hiding all foot obstacles (ruts, rocks, cuttings) and without any paths to speak-of. Very poor footing, tripped a number of times. This first section ends at the bottom of a sand/rock slide (45.21425,-69.88590, elev 2030') with the last 150 yds being an easy bushwhack.

The second section is a very steep, 1/4 mile southwest, sand/rock slide, ending at (45.21255,-69.89012, elev 2500'). No problems here.

The third section of the route, 1/2 mile southwest along the ridge, is a horrendous bushwhack. Overall dense woods with short very dense stretches. The woods floor has a lot of rock/branches covered moss with a lot of bad downfall, one spot had a vertical scramble, had to zig-zag/backtrack a few times. Overall, tough going. I first ended-up at the north dense summit (45.20757,-69.89383) thinking I was on "the" summit - but I could see higher ground perhaps 150 yds to the south.

The obvious summit was a surprise - a rock outcrop with a 20' X 25' wooden platform covered with a black tarp (presumably a heli-pad), nearby are 2 small communication towers with a shed and solar panels. A trail comes up from the south side (see below for the information on this "south eastern approach" from the Heald Ponds).
There are partial east/west views over the trees.

I wasn't looking for it and it was by chance that I saw the large register box - hidden under the west corner of the flat platform. It had a huge (unusual) voluminous log book started in 2016. By the number of entries I'd say that this is a popular destination. My guess is that a lot of summiters don't see the register.

I took a long lunch break before backtracking to the TH.
I ascended the 1.5 miles in 2:50 hours (including all stops for data-taking/route-finding), and descended in 1:25 hrs.
As I entered this TR I researched the recommended "south eastern approach" all as noted below.

NB: I do not recommend my route.

stats --- estimated 3 miles RT, 1500' ascent.
Driving Directions to Trailhead:
From Bingham/Moscow, take Route 16 East. Take a left onto Townline Road (sign missing in summer 2013). Dead Water Road eventually joins from the left at the river. Soon thereafter, bear left to stay on Dead Water Road. Eventually, bear left onto Heald Pond Road (at above marker "04.80M"), almost immediately passing under a high tension power line. At a fork with Chase Pond Road, bear right to remain on Heald Pond Road (in summer 2013, Heald Pond Road becomes rougher thereafter), soon crossing a small bridge. After climbing up a washed out section of road, there will be a somewhat grassy area on the right, followed by a grassy logging road marked with a large cairn. Park near here for the trailhead. This logging road with certainty will get overgrown over the years.
NB: Another hiker reports that he had to start the hike 1 Mile before the fore-noted large cairn - road too rough to drive. I guess this is another drive up for high clearance vehicle.
Hiking Directions:
Follow this logging road for awhile (occasional cairns) with good looks at the mountain. Occasional blue blazes and flagging tape help with navigation.
Trail enters the woods 1 mile from the large cairn at the start of the grassy logging road. Very nice trail, decently maintained with lots of views and minor ledge scrambles. The total trail is about 1.5 miles long.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1165 ft / 355 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:logging rds/whack swb
    Trailhead:woods road  1755 ft / 534 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 25 Minutes

This page has been served 133 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2021 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service