From his early days of exploring around Valsetz, The Logging Road Cyclist has been intrigued by Stott Mountain. The most remote of the local, big (>3000′) peaks, Stott is served by a complex road network which uniquely may allow driving access (sometimes), clearcuts of a magnitude that even TLRC finds disturbing and their concomitant superb views (more below), and even has a USGS professional paper describing the sill upon which the very existence of Stott Mtn relies.
TLRC made a midwinter attempt on Stott many years ago that was thwarted by a poor understanding of the local geography and inadequate maps. Earlier this summer, while hors de combat, bicycle-wise, in an effort to get to know it, TLRC and Devil Puppy tried to walk to the summit via the shortest (steepest) road out of Gravel Cr, which bounds Stott to the south. They almost made it, but pulled the plug four miles up to avoid a longer slog, the better to keep both of them injury free. This was a valuable source of information, however, for it prompted Gnat to ride out there, knowing the way off to the south was not a dead-end. He summited, and in a bout of obsession that made TLRC proud spent the next four weekends out there filling in the roads, leading to a well-known Stott and some good rides. This is a spectacular area, with tremendous relief by local standards. Stott and Sugarloaf face each other across the NF Siletz, and each rises 2600′ above the confluence of that stream with the South Fork.
There are three roads up from Gravel Cr., (from east to west) up Stub Cr., NF Gravel Cr. and the third one which TLRC and DP walked up. Gnat also explored the easiest way up (shown here in TLRC’s loop) which climbs up from near the Valley of the Giants.
The picture below was taken from a previous TLRC ride up Stub Cr., and shows the steep upper portion of the mountain along with typical clearcuts. The road diagonalling through the clearcut is steeper than it looks and is the key to getting to the top from both Stub and VOG.
Near the top, the views begin in earnest.
But more of the modern practice of logging thin little trees becomes apparent.
Very close to the summit, the ever-vigilant geo-TLRC literally stumbled on this outcrop.
He found this on his first Stub Cr ride and became obsessed enough that the next weekend he returned and did his VOG loop with a geology hammer and hand lens. He thought initially that this might be an example of Yamhill sediment fragments being torn off and incorporated into the intrusive magma that forms the sill: an example of stoping (mostly because he wanted it to be this). Hammer and lens forced him to drop this hypothesis and left him with rarer speculations…
The Stott frenzy that gripped Gnat and TLRC lead to some profound geographical revelations. Excluding Marys Peak (4097′), all the highest peaks (twelve, +/-) in the Central Coast Range are between 3000′ and 3500′ in elevation. Five (Laurel, Riley, Fanno, Sugarloaf, Condenser) lie in what TLRC refers to as the Laurel Mountain Massif (why he does). Bald Mtn and Stott lie adjacent. From the summit of Stott Mtn, five (including Stott) are visible, as is (to TLRC’s surprise) McCulloch Peak.
The reverse view is even more productive:
A word on recent logging practices. TLRC strives to maintain an apolitical site here, but he has noticed an uptick in Coast Range logging activity over the last five or so years. Clearcuts seem bigger, more numerous and to be in smaller and smaller trees. Moreover, some companies are getting much more aggressive about keeping everyone off of their land and roads, even if those roads are the only access to Federal (i.e. our) land. He is scientist enough to know that this is just an impression, no matter how clear it is to him, or how disturbing he finds it. This recent story confirms his suspicions.