Diamond Peak


A sidetrail off Forest Service Trail #3124

Why: Views of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness

Season: July through September

Ease: Easy. It’s just a bit over a mile and 500+ feet up from the trailhead to the top.

Diamond Peak is the most accessible spot in the northern Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness for getting out a map and identifying many of its high spots. The only negatives are that there really isn’t much of a trail and that the trail you see on the USGS map isn’t really marked.

You get to Diamond Peak starting at the Diamond Peak Trailhead, heading up the hill and around the corner and into the woods. If you’re paying close attention, about ¼ to ½ miles in you’ll see the remnants of an old road coming in from the right and a trail heading off to the left uphill. That’s what I thought was the trail to the top. I followed it for maybe ¼ mile, during which it became fainter and fainter and finally just turned into a game trail. I turned around at that point.

What works instead is to continue on the main trail until you get to an open area on top of a hill with a trail junction signed for the #3113 (numbered #6144 on the older wilderness maps) trail. At that junction, turn your back to the sign and look toward the woods. On the left, there’s a clump of big trees close to you. Behind it is a hunters’ camp. The trail takes off from the latter, and this is the trail that’s shown on the USGS topo map but not on the wilderness map. Or, you can just head into the woods and go uphill – you will intersect that trail in another open area part way up.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be glad you brought the wilderness map along, for you can see most all of the wilderness high country. To the west there’s Oregon Butte with its lookout, Round Butte, and Weller Butte. The nearby high country is dissected by the drainages of Third, Second and First Creeks, plus Melton and Crooked Creeks.

It’s a spot well worth the possibly uncertain journey.

Note: The structure on top of Diamond is a repeater, used to help field personnel stay in touch with the ranger station and each other.

Directions: The trail to Diamond Peak starts about 1 mile up the Melton Creek Trail.
Information: The Pomeroy Ranger District, UNF, (509) 843-1891.

Maps: USGS Diamond Peak, Washington; Forest Service Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Map.