Ascent of Big Craggies on 2019-10-09

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Craggies
    Elevation:4619 ft / 1407 m

Ascent Trip Report

I could not follow the usual drive route the follows the Chetco River for many miles beyond Loeb State Park. This was because there was a downed tree across the road near the small bridge that crossed the Chetco River. So I backtracked back past Loeb State Park and went up paved Gardner Ridge Road for about 6.5 miles, then took an unsigned dirt road on the left just before Gardner Ridge Road started downhill. This dirt road goes for about 17 miles until you get to the gate and small campground (near Snow Camp LO) mentioned in other trip reports. There were 3 or so major junctions along the dirt road I took in, but managed to stay on the correct road mostly because the other roads obviously went the wrong direction, had negative signage or were gated. All 17 miles of this dirt road was in surprisingly good shape. Just about any vehicle could drive it in this far.

My map indicated that the dirt road at this campground is closed for the season on October 1st. Since it was October 9th, I expected it to be closed. And it was when I got there. This added about 1.6 miles one-way for the hike. Once at the trailhead at the end of the road, the first mile of the climb through the forest had significant portions of fire break to follow, created by firefighters during the fire a few years back. As with other recent reports, the fire made the ridge run over to Big Craggies fairly easy. There were occasional sections of other fire break and use trail to follow after going over Green Craggie. And there was a trail or fire break visible from Peak 4150 that went up Big Craggies from the saddle for 600 feet. The most annoying thing about the hike was the regrowth of ferns that hid manzanita stubble. The stubble left over from the manzanita that burned during the fire was a tripping hazard. I was tripped up several times, nearly doing a face plant into the dirt. Besides this, it was an enjoyable cross-country hike with nice views from the summit. I could not find a register.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes

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