Little Cowhorn and Hehe Mountains

June 15, 2005

With its rock columns, variety of flowers, and the views from the top, it’s surprising that Little Cowhorn has been lead so rarely in recent years. So I decided to combine it with another easy hike or three to make it into a “B” trip. When I scouted out the trip a week before with John Jacobsen, we checked out Gibraltar Mountain first. While that was an enjoyable hike, the bushwhack necessary to get to the top proved to be too much for the “B” hike as advertised. Perhaps it could be combined with a hike from Little Cowhorn to Pernot Mountain sometime to make a nice “C” trip.

Jan Jacobsen and Anne Hollander joined me for the official trip. As neither were anxious to tackle Gibraltar, we didn’t attempt it. Partly cloudy skies and mild temperature made for pleasant hiking. Despite a relaxed pace, we made good time to the top of Little Cowhorn. We lingered in the meadow just below the top, enjoying the wildflowers there. The lookout has been readied for use as a rental—the decking replaced, the floor newly tiled, and it’s been furnished with several site-built items. We saw nine of the “ten peaks” from Little Cowhorn’s summit (only McLoughlin eluded us.)

After lounging around in the sun for about an hour, we descended to the car, drove back down to Fall Creek, then up Rd. 1832 for a short visit to Symbol Rock, a volcanic rock formation having similar hexagonal crystals to the Columns on Sinner Butte, but curved, and on their sides. We continued on a short ways to Hehe Mountain, for a short hike to the top. It’s pretty overgrown on top, so no view, but it makes a nice, 1½ mile walk.

The last stop of the trip was Flagstone, a new (within last 20 years) sport climbing area on the side of Sardine Butte. John and I had stopped there a week before, and I wanted to check it out again, now that I had the book with me. We then proceeded north on Quartz Creek road to Hwy 126, where we stopped for snacks and drinks at the Finn Rock Grill. —Wayne Deeter

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