Bunker Hill─No battling for solitude along this hike

A view of the Wind River Valley can be had from just below the summit

A view of the Wind River Valley can
be had from just below the summit

Quick Facts

Location: Wind River Valley

Land Agency: Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Roundtrip: 4.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,250 feet

Green trails Map: Green Trails Wind River No. 397

Recommended Guidebook: Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (Craig Romano)

Access: From Stevenson, head east on SR 14 for 3.0 miles turning left onto Wind River Road. Then proceed 8.6 miles turning left onto Hemlock Road. After 1.2 miles turn right onto FR 43 (signed for canopy crane). Proceed for 0.7 mile turning right onto FR 417. In 0.1 mile pass the Pacific Crest Trail. Continue another 0.2 mile to large parking area for Whistle Punk Trail. Park here and walk road back to PCT.

Note: Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass required.

Contact: Gifford Pinchot National Forest Mount Adams Ranger District, Trout Lake

Named by two area settlers for the famous site in Boston, this little peak stands watch above the Wind River Valley and once served as a fire lookout. The tower is long gone and summit trees now obstruct any viewing. But you can snoop around just below the summit to some ledges where good views south to the Columbia River Gorge can be had. The main draw to this hike is its solitude and the chance you may run into an elk or two.

Start by walking back on the road .2 mile to the PCT following along a fence line of a now unused section of the Wind River Nursery. Then follow the PCT north across the fallow nursery. Heavily forested Bunker Hill rises before you. Elk and deer frequent the field you’re traversing.

The trail soon enters forest and shortly afterward a junction. The PCT continues right scooting along the base of Bunker Hill on its way to the Wind River. You want to bear left beginning your switch-backing charge up Bunker Hill. Despite being a small peak, it’s a good little climb with a pitch that’s steep from time to time. But the tread is good weaving through some beautiful patches of old-growth Douglas-fir.

At 2.0 miles from the trailhead reach the 2,383-feet summit. All that remains of the fire lookout are the concrete blocks that anchored it. For views, head south along the ridge a few hundred feet staying to the left and paralleling the trail to a small set of ledges just below the summit. Here take in a nice view south of the Wind River Valley and Dog, Wind, Augsperger, and Huckleberry Mountains too. Oregon’s Mount Defiance dominates the back drop and you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the Columbia River at its base.

For more information on this hike including maps and other handy features, check out my Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge book (Mountaineers Books ). You’ll find info on 99 other hikes in it too from Portland-Vancouver to beyond The Dalles.

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