9.4 mi rt
max 3380 ft
gain 2799 ft
gpx track, use at your own risk: Bowman
The weather was beautiful and I wanted to stretch my legs so I grabbed Barley and headed out to Bowman. This is a local hill that can be approached from several ways. I have not yet been to the true summit (48° 44′ 27” N; 122° 3′ 22” W, 4234 ft.) but I often visit the site where the old fire lookout use to be (N48° 45.357′ W122° 04.412′, 3355 ft.). The structure is gone but the footings still remain and the views as expected are fantastic.
The way I approach the old lookout site is a bit different than most and involves a short connector trail that was built by a local man for his mules. Before I go any further, let me say that there are photos taken with a backyard camera at a friend’s house at the foot of this hill that shows large mountain lions so there is that.
These were the only wildlife I saw that day. They have been out there for years, not sure why they stay in the same area ( :
While I did not see them today, the Acme elk herd hangs out up here and there was so much frozen elk poop on the roads that it was sometimes hard to avoid walking in it!
The parking for this is on Mosquito Lake Rd, there is a small side road and gate at N48 45.768 W122 06.885. If you stay on the road and follow the route I am providing, the way will be entirely on dnr land on the lower part and then timber companies, mining companies and state holdings up top.
Park (but do not block) before the gate and head on in. In just a short distance the road crosses a pipeline (buried). At a very short distance from there, turn left onto a logging access road and cross a bridge. At this point it is just a road walk up with views getting better the higher you get. There are views because this area has been clear cut in the last few years so there is this. The first two miles are on a proper road, at N48 45.505 W122 05.698 look for an old road that goes off climber’s right. This is an old road that is becoming overgrown with scrub alders but is still easy to walk. Going left at every option will take take you to the entrance to the mule trail at N48 45.466 W122 05.498 The trail goes straight on up the hill, look for the trimmed branches to find your way. The mule trail is short, just a quarter mile and then it connects back up to another scrub alder choked road…go right. This road connects up to the main road in 0.3 mi, now it is just a walk up the road.
At the first junction in 0.4 mi going right will lead towards the views and the old lookout site. At this point we were in snow that was not powder but not consolidated either so it was step, crunch, break through. I tried to stay in the elk tracks when possible but they take big steps! In approximately 0.75 mi the views start and oh what views.
There is one more junction at N48 45.265 W122 04.169 where going left leads up to the lookout site. While some places on the road had snow none of it was really enough to slow us down. Sometimes I stop here if I am on a time limit or just lazy, the views are great. But today we went on up the final push.
This is where I could look down on where I was thinking of going, Blue Mnt. Really glad I didn’t! There are really no views to speak of and it would have just been to tag the summit.
It is just a half mile more up the road from the final junction to the lookout site. The structure hasn’t been there for quite some while but the cement footings are still there.
I pulled out my sit mat and found a piece of exposed rock to sit on. I made a cup of coffee and enjoyed the views. I love that Barley likes to come and sit next to me, he is a good boy. While coming up here involves mostly road walking and a bunch of clear cuts, the views and isolation makes it a favorite of mine.