Ascent of Larch Mountain on 2009-08-14

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Friday, August 14, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Larch Mountain
    Elevation:4055 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

On I-84 E of Portland, I took exit #22 and headed S on Corbett Hill Rd. Set your odometer to 0.0 at the interchange. Corbett Hill Rd winds its way up the wall of the Columbia River Gorge and at 1.4 miles reaches a triangle intersection with the Historic Columbia River Hwy where I turned L (E). At 2.0 miles I went L at a fork, following a sign that says "Historic Highway". The R branch is NE Littlepage Rd to Grange Hall. At 3.0 miles I reached the Portland Womens Forum State Scenic Viewpoint on the L. It's a scenic view of the Coumbia River and is worth a stop. At 3.4 miles I went R at a fork where signs said it is 14 miles to Larch Mtn. The L branch was closed at the time I was there, and I heard radio reports that it was due to a rock slide. Mile posts begin at this point. At 4.9 miles I stayed straight where E Haines Rd forks L. At 6.7 miles SE Louden Rd goes straight; I stayed on E Larch Mtn Rd, which turns L. At 7.5 miles I went R at a fork where SE Brower Rd goes L. At 11.9 miles I entered the Mt Hood NF. At 14.6 miles the road made a sharp R turn. At 17.1 miles the road made a sharp L turn. At 17.5 miles the road ended at a parking lot and trailhead. Signs in the area said that NF recreation passes were required to park here, which I did. The road is fully paved all the way to this point.

Several trails continue beyond the end of the parking lot. The leftmost goes to a camground, and the rightmost goes to Sherrard Point, which is the rock outcrop on the summit. The total length of this trail is a mere ¼ mile with 150' gain. About halfway up, the trail gains the crest of a ridge, where a very shallow R turn leads to the summit. The trail ends at a fenced-in tourist overlook. The highest rock, however, is an outcrop about 10' higher than the overlook, just outside the fence on the L side of the final flight of stairs. Undeterred by the fence, I hopped it and scaled the last few class 2-3 moves to the top of the rock.

The weather was socked in and drizzling, but I'm sure this place has a sweeping view of the Columbia River on a clear day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:155 ft / 47 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Summit Trail
    Trailhead:Larch Mtn Rd  3900 ft / 1188 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Minutes

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