Juniper Peak by Tongue Mountain via Cispus River / 杜松峯

  • Reading time:6 mins read

Juniper Peak by Tongue Mountain sits atop Juniper Ridge. At its eastern foothills flows the 54-mile-long Cispus River, hailing from Goat Rocks Wilderness into Cowlitz River. Meanwhile, Mount Adams rises 18 miles to the southeast.

Juniper Peak in the mists
Juniper Peak in the mists

See more trip photos here.

Juniper Peak and Tongue Mountain at a Glance

Access: NF-2904
Round Trip: 9.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3640′-5611′
Gear: none
Route Info: Joanne Najdzin
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes
Playlist: Ethereal

The Preface

We rarely visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest due to the long drive. So far, I’ve only been to Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Ives Peak in the area. So it marked my fourth unique visit in all 15 years of hiking.

I stayed close to home this weekend and took the dogs out. The yellow lab hasn’t hiked with us since Dobbs Mountain a month ago. After sifting through my “rainy day” list, Joanne’s recent trip inspired me to drive.

Frolicking by Juniper Ridge Trail
Frolicking by Juniper Ridge Trail

See more trip photos here.

Juniper Ridge Trail to Juniper Peak

Reaching the trailhead using Google Maps optimistic reroute took an extra hour. From the empty lot, it was three miles to the top through the mild terrain. En route, the trail hugged the crest after reaching the 4800′ saddle.

The clouds never dissipated, so we never got the would-be grand views from the top. We exited via the south slope after waiting 1.5 hours while dodging the wind. Then we hugged the crest on the dry bike path back to the car.

Snowgrass Trailhead
The final stretch on Juniper Peak

See more trip photos here.

Tongue Mountain in the Mists

We made the long drive worthwhile by visiting Tongue Mountain next door. It’s half the distance of Juniper Peak at 1.5 miles each way and 1000′ lower. But in contrast, the forest here harbored short, leaning foliage below the crest.

The final bit on the south slope felt rather exposed in the mists. I didn’t feel like waiting out the clouds, so we left after a brief stay. On the way home, we stopped by the Cispus River before getting a photo of the impressive Tower Rock.

Snowgrass Trailhead
The looming Tongue Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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