Grass and Prairie Mountains: Oregon 2,000′ Prominence Peaks

Last week, we spent some time hanging out near Alsea, Oregon. After spending sometime browsing Peakbagger, I picked a couple of mountains to summit. Grass Mountain and Prairie Mountain are both considered “prominent” peaks. (Here’s a very in depth article on prominence if you’re curious). Oregon has 74 peaks with at least 2,000′ of prominence; Grass Mountain ranks 57th and Prairie Mountain ranks 47th.

Sprocket and I set off first for Grass Mountain. The road was currently being used for logging operations and was in really great shape. Instead of hiking the closed road to the summit, I opted to head directly up the ridge. From the mid-1950s to 1970, the mountain was home to a fire lookout although all remnants except four concrete foundation blocks are gone. The trees have grown up around the mountain and there isn’t much to be seen from the summit. Sprocket, however, enjoyed a good sniff:

Sprocket

Instead of returning down the ridge the way we came, we headed out the road. This lead around the south side of the summit affording me views of the southern Coast Range.

Wildflowers

Grass Mountain

Seed Tree

Oregon Woods

View from Grass Mountain flanks

As I looped back around to the northwestern side of the mountain, I was delighted to catch a glimpse of Mt. Hood:

Mt. Hood

Then, I noticed Mt. Jefferson peeking out as well:

Mt. Jefferson

We backtracked down the mountain and then headed south of Alsea to Prairie Mountain. I expected to have to hike to the summit, just like on Grass Mountain. Instead, however, I discovered that the gate two miles shy of the summit was open. At the top, I saw someone working on radio equipment so I grabbed a quick photo and headed back out.

Prairie Mountain view

Wildflowers

In all, it was an awesome day to be out playing in the Coast Range!

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