Ascent of McMurray Benchmark on 2016-03-14

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, March 14, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:McMurray Benchmark
    Elevation:1400 ft / 426 m

Ascent Trip Report

For a lowland Washington "dumpster peak" this is about as nice as they get. An enlightened policy of allowing non-motorized recreation on a private tree farm is very welcome, and a large network of logging roads and mountain bike trails through pleasant second-growth forest makes for nice hiking. The summit is viewless, but it is a very definite spot at the edge of a miniature bluff that makes a hiker feel like they got somewhere.

One should send in a release form, available at the Pilchuck Recreation Association site, before hiking on the lands of the Pilchuck Tree Farm. Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are all permitted.

From 316th St NW, drive north on 12th Ave NW towards the Pilchuck Glass School. After about a mile there is a large trailhead parking area with portable toilet and sign board. To save a little vertical I drove north a bit more to a junction with a rocky, gated road to the right and parked on the shoulder (permitted by signs).

From there I followed my nose (and GPS) to the summit. There are many logging roads, some in use, some overgrown, that can be followed, plus several narrow, windy trails that seem to be designed for mountain biking. The area is kind of a maze. The summit it accessed by some of the narrow trails and is a nice clearing near the edge of a bluff--one can see a logging road just below to the east, but it would not be fun to climb up from there.

My route on the GPS track was all easy hiking, and it was nice to not have to bushwhack at all in the rainy, misty forest. Near the summit the enormous stumps of the original trees remain as reminders of how long it will take the second-growth forest to return to climax state.

Overall a nice little hike just off of I-5 to get a 1000-foot prominence hill.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:420 ft / 128 m
    Total Elevation Loss:420 ft / 128 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.2 mi / 5.1 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:420 ft / 128 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Start Trailhead:980 ft / 298 m
    Time:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:420 ft / 128 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    End Trailhead:980 ft / 298 m
    Time:35 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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