Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Touring the Gifford Pinchot NF: Randle to Burley Mountain, Washington, 8/30/16

              
   
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Coupeville, Washington, United States
    Posts
    1,088

    Default Touring the Gifford Pinchot NF: Randle to Burley Mountain, Washington, 8/30/16

    Originally posted at http://www.stevebisig.com/touring-th...shington-2016/



    “Beaver Pond, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, 2016”


    It’s been several years since I drove south from Randle, Washington on Forest Road 25 (FR25) into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. As a child growing up, my Dad, cousin and I would spend a lot of time in this area, especially before Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 (I’m dating myself now).

    Every year, I would look forward to the “Hunting Camp” my Dad and his buddies would set for the entirety of deer and elk hunting season. In hunting camp, I learned a lot from the old-time loggers that my Dad had as friends. I was being taught Bushcraft skills long before I had heard the term.

    After my Dad had passed away in 1991, his wish was to have his ashes scattered at a favorite remote camping spot near Elk Pass. I try to come back to this area at least annually if possible. It brings back a lot of pleasant memories that I don’t often think about on a daily basis.

    By the time I arrived in Randle, it was already early afternoon, with heavy overcast skies and pleasantly warm.

    My first stop to practice the art of landscape photography was right along FR25 not far from Randle. Along the road, there is a section of Woods Creek that is dammed up by a beaver and creates a decent sized pond that has been there as long as I can remember. During late summer, this beaver pond is covered with green algae as seen in the photographs.



    “Woods Creek, Randle, Washington, 2016”


    FR25 gets a lot of summertime traffic, one because it’s a primary route to Cougar, Washington as well as being the access point to the very popular Windy Ridge Vista at Mount Saint Helens.

    After photographing the beaver pond, I decided to revisit FR2506 towards Woods Creek and Kraus Ridge. During the late summer, as is common throughout the Pacific Northwest, water flows in the creeks are low. During this August visit, Woods Creek wasn’t more than a trickle.



    “Forest Along Kraus Ridge, Randle, Washington, 2016”


    By nature, I love to explore. My Father had this in him as well. I can remember many days of on a spur of the moment, packing up the pickup trick and heading into the hills for the day, destination unknown. It was about the journey. Today, I can’t get enough. That’s why I set up my Toyota Landcruiser as a platform for overland travel, camping and landscape/nature photography. I’m always asking – “what is down that road?” When possible, I approach my photography the same way. Yes, I photograph the iconic locations in and around Washington State and the Pacific Northwest; however, I take great pleasure in finding something obscure, not normally photographed, and making my own icons of nature.



    “Cispus River, Lewis County, Washington, 2016”


    After thoroughly exploring FR2506, I was back on FR25 and continuing south. My next stop was at the Cispus River. I parked at the bridge and walked down to river level. After all the times I drove over this bridge, this was the first time I adventured under it. From the topside of the bridge, one would not suspect that was a wooden timber bridge. Even the bridge decking was wood overlaid with concrete.



    “Tower Rock East, Cispus Center, Washington, 2016”


    After a quick lunch by the river, I continued on FR25 past the Iron Creek Campground. Shortly thereafter the campground, I turned on FR76 as it followed the Cispus River upstream to the community of Cispus Center. I wanted to capture some photos of Tower Rock. I found a nice composition of the east face of Tower Rock from the parking lot of the local fire station.



    “Tower Rock West, Cispus Center, Washington, 2016”


    Since the sun was directly overhead of the mountain, wanted to photograph Tower Rock from a different angle. I backtracked a little further west and found another vantage point to capture the west face of Tower Rock. The lighting was better however clouds still hung over the summit.



    “Burley Mountain Lookout, Washington, 2016”


    Since the clouds were breaking up, I decided to take a chance to see if the local volcanoes would be visible from the Burley Mountain Lookout.

    From along the Cispus River valley along FR76, FR77 climbs steadily along 11 miles of single lane, paved forest service road until the junction with FR7708, where the surface turns to gravel. From where the asphalt road ends, you are essentially driving with walls of alder trees on either side with only occasional views into the deep valleys below.

    As I made the final turn on the road that leads to the summit of Burley Mountain, the clouds were rolling into the surrounding valleys. I met several vehicles on the way up to the lookout, but when I arrived, I had the area to myself.



    “Mount Rainier, Burley Mountain Lookout, Washington, 2016”


    Burley Mountain provides one of my favorite views of our local snow capped peaks. The lookout sits almost right in the middle of the triangle formed by Rainier, Adams and Saint Helens. On a clear day, you can also see Mount Hood to the south in Oregon.

    Initially, there were clear skies above and clouds in the valleys below and around the base of Mount Rainier. These conditions didn’t last long. Clouds rolled in rather quickly and obscured Mount Rainier.



    “Mount Adams, Burley Mountain Lookout, Washington, 2016”


    Luckily, Mount Adams was clear, with only the occasional cloud rolling by. Mount Saint Helens was only a silhouette in the distance, backlit by the early evening sun.

    It wasn't the greatest day for photographing the surrounding mountains, with hard light and lots of clouds.

    Burley Mountain would make for a great place to spend the night on a clear summer night. Evening alpenglow, followed by starry skies and then the early morning sunshine on the mountains.

    If you decide to visit, I recommend a high clearance vehicle, preferable a 4x4 so you don't tear up the road to the lookout. Also, there is limited parking and turn-around at the summit.

    After photographing at Burly Mountain, I needed to make way back to FR25 via FR77 before it got too dark. Little did I know how much rougher FR77 was from my previous trip to the area. My guess is that unless improvements are made, FR77 will pretty much be a 4x4 only road in a few years. Hopefully the US Forest Service will continue to keep the road open.

    By time I got to FR28, it was completely dark. I continued on past Mosquito Meadows, then to FR25 and back to Randle.

    Another rewarding day of exploring and photographing the great State of Washington in the books.
    Last edited by Steve; 12-04-2016 at 12:20.
    Steve

    K9PNW | Exploring the Pacific Northwest in my 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser

    Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures - Pacific Northwest Outdoor Adventure Forums

    Steve G. Bisig Photography
    - Pacific Northwest Photography: Nature, Landscapes, Rural, Urban

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Coupeville, Washington, United States
    Posts
    1,088

    Default A Few Additional Photos

    Last edited by Steve; 12-04-2016 at 12:22.
    Steve

    K9PNW | Exploring the Pacific Northwest in my 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser

    Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures - Pacific Northwest Outdoor Adventure Forums

    Steve G. Bisig Photography
    - Pacific Northwest Photography: Nature, Landscapes, Rural, Urban

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    The Gifford Pinchot NF, I think my favorite. It's really hard to choose between all the National Forests here in the Pacific Northwest, but if I were to write down everything I like about each of them I think the GP would come out ahead. So diverse, vast and uncrowded. And it seems like it is "cleaner" than the others. Is that just me thinking that way? Anyway, Steve, great pictures as usual. Thanks!
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinetop, AZ
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Thanks for sharing. I cannot say how many times I drove by that beaver pond as I used to live on Skinner Rd, pretty much the last right off FR25/SR131 just before you enter the forest. I'm going to have to disagree with Jerry though about the GP. I always found it to have the least off road access and very few dispersed camping opportunities. I personally preferred the Naches RD over the hill.
    Ted
    2006 Jeep Liberty, pretty much stock. But well stocked when I travel!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Columbia City, WA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Great report, may inspire me to do same. Could I get up FR77 from Cispus river to the lookout with a stock-height Jeep GC?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Great pictures.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    73

    Default

    I always forget what a great route this is... thanks for reminding me.
    lgrt
    MODs: changes in attitude
    Pictures of my adventure road trips as well as random thoughts and rants
    http://lastgreatroadtrip.com/myFiles...tureBanner.jpg

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •