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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Moolock Mountain (winter)

Early winter scramble of Moolock Mountain.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The majority of the trail is on a forest road. The first ~5 miles are on a maintained forest road. There are a few places the creek runs over the road, but it is shallow and easy to cross. We first encountered steady snow at about 2500'. The max depth of snow during the trip was about 12".  I didn't find it necessary to use snowshoes or an ice ax, but definitely found my poles very helpful on the way down.

    The road from about 5 miles on is overgrown in places and can be hard to follow. There are a few junctions on the road but it is pretty easy to follow with a couple of exceptions. At about 3100' there is a sharp right that is easy to miss (in fact, we went past it at first). This is where the road changes from  maintained to over grown. Another challenge comes at the borrow pit. Following the road is overgrown, but there is a faint trail marked with an orange tag that is easier to follow and meets up with the road. That is to the left and hard to see on the way in, but easy to find on the way back.

    We left the road at about 4400' where we  found some more orange markers. At this point we bushwhacked up to the ridge, attempting to pick the path of least resistance.  There wasn't much of a path at this point or on the ridge. The ridge is narrow, but can be followed. Some points are a bit steep, but there is no exposure to worry about. There were some boulders to climb over as well. It would probably be easier here if there was more snow to cover some of the low vegetation. One the way back, we returned the way we came.

We parked about 0.2 miles  past the trailhead on the right side of the road at the trailhead for Oxbow loop. There was room for about 6 or 7 cars there. A Discover Pass is required at this parking lot.

The total time up was about 6 hours and about 3.5 on descent. My GPS indicated about 14.9 miles and approximately 4000' elevation gain.

The mountain offers plenty of views at the summit and along the way. The weather we had was a bit cloudy, but no rain and warmer than expected, so I can't complain.