A Winter Hike to Grass Pass

Went down to the Highwood on Sunday and hiked to Grass Pass on a dull wintery day. Fortified by a good breakfast at High Country Cafe, we quickly warmed up on the steady climb up the well-trodden, but now lightly snow-covered, trail. The vagaries of recent weather had covered the trees with with a dull white tracery of rime covered hoar frost; a somewhat unusual combination of winter precipitation.

Boundary Pine Grass Pass winter

Boundary Pine near Grass Pass

From the pass we wandered southeast along the cow trail, past the summer springs, to check out the Boundary Pine, a limber pine that was made famous by R. M. Patterson’s book The Buffalo Head. We then backtracked along our trail a short distance to where grassy slopes allowed us to short-cut down to the upcoming trail.

For those who haven’t hiked this trail before, it starts at Sentinel day use area on Hwy 541 west of Longview. From the day use area, walk east along the highway a short distance to where the trail starts near a road sign.

On the way back we stopped at the Black Diamond Hotel Bar for beer and wings in the comfort of their arm chairs.

Map of Grass Pass trail

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