Updated: Nov 9
Peak Name: Eightmile Point Peak Coordinates: 45.366423, -121.480529 Peak Elevation: 5240′ Access: Trail & bushwhack Bushwhack Rating: BW3 (I got cuts that drew blood and there was some cursing) Distance: 0.38 miles (round-trip) – 0.1 of that was bushwhacking Elevation Range: 5118′ to 5243′ Ascent/Descent: +159 ft / -168 ft Note: I had to bushwhack from the far side of the loop since the forest was so dense. Peak had no view. Date: 6-24-21
I’d researched my planned route for bagging this peak the night before. I started at the trailhead for Fifteen Mile Trail #456 from FS 4420. It was an easy uphill trek toward Eightmile Point through a very open forest. The trail seemed to mostly be used by mountain bikes. I only saw one other set of boot prints.
The trail climbed up along some large rocks to the plateau where the peak was. The trail did a fish hook around the peak so it required some bushwhacking off trail to reach the peak coordinates. I had originally planned on approaching the bushwhack section from the west side, but I had to loop around to the east side because the forest was very dense.
I’m glad I ended up having to go around because in the middle of the loop there is an open area with some cliffs dropping off. From there I could see 4 mountains: Mt Hood (partial), Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams. I then looped around the the east side of the peak. The forest was still just as dense, but there were a few small open pockets. I decided to just try for one and pushed my way into the forest.
The peak coordinates were only about 100 ft off the trail, so I thought it should be fairly easy. Boy, was I wrong! As I wrote in my journal: “This peak was a b*tch.” I had to climb over, under and through dense pockets of trees. There were a lot of fallen trees that made the trek more difficult. I had to shove through some dense pockets of trees. I ended up having cuts on my legs and arms. I fell a few times while trying to climb under trees.
Once I got near the peak, I spent a good 15 minutes or more, trying to hit the peak coordinates. I ended up having to just zigzag back and forth over a 20 ft area to make sure I actually hit the peak. My GPS wasn’t tracking well and I wanted to make sure I hit it. (My GPS track below doesn’t accurately show the zigzagging I did.) I’m still figuring out how to make my GPS app work for this kind of thing.
There was no view or anything special about the peak. Just dense forest and fallen trees. I decided to bushwhack back out the direction I had come in from instead of just cutting through to the other side. Once I got back to the trail, I went back to the cliff area with the views of the mountains and ate my lunch there. It was a clear, warm day with a slight breeze. The hike back to the trailhead was easy. I didn’t see or hear anyone else while I was on my hike.
The bushwhack section of this trail I’d classify as a BW3 – Heavy brush. Hands needed constantly. Some loss of blood may occur due to scratches and cuts. Travel noticeably hindered. Use of four-letter words at times (credit: Mark Dale). The trail section is very easy, but the bushwhacking on this one even though it wasn’t a long distance definitely ranks up there with some of the more difficult ones I’ve done. It was quite the puzzle and mental challenge to find paths through the dense forest.
Parking: 45.36546, -121.48442
Trailhead: 45.36569, -121.48447
View of mountains (good lunch spot): 45.36722, -121.48106
Start of bushwhack: 45.36635, -121.47996
Peak coordinates: 45.366423, -121.480529
How to get there (from Sandy, OR)
Take Hwy 26 out of Sandy for 31 miles. Take the exit for Hwy 35-N. Continue on Hwy 35 for 12.5 miles. Turn right on NF-44 and proceed for 8.6 miles. Turn right on FS 4420 and continue for 2.1 miles. Turn right on gravel road that is continuation of FS 4420 and proceed for 0.6 miles. The road V’s, stay to the left. The trail is a few feet down the road on the left. There is a trailhead sign. Room for 2-3 cars to park on the right shoulder of the road.
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