Don't go to Grouse Ridge. There's nothing worth seeing, and Harvey Manning's musings now lead to a large Cadman gravel mining site (on land owned by Weyerhauser) that is probably illegal to enter. I followed the road past the Mailbox TH and stumbled into it from the back where there are no signs. There's also some uncertainty about whether the Fire Training Center has the right to block access to a county road. I just got out of there as quickly as possible, taking a few pics along the way.
At first the road past the Mailbox TH was a pleasant open grassy way, but it got progressively more and more choked with trees and brush.
Mailbox road past the TH. The road is clear for quite a while
Road continues to be pretty open
Now the road isn't wide and clear. But it stays walkable like this for quite a while.
Here the road is starting to get more overgrown.
Eventually I gave up following the road and bushwhacked through really crappy brushy trees up to the top of the ridge. That was slightly more open, and I could make progress by ducking under the lowest branches of the scrub trees. Eventually I hit an old logging road, which led me to Grouse Ridge road.
I kept pushing through small trees for a while, but the road was going downhill and was getting hard to follow to I went up this bank to get on a ridge and head for the flats above.
This is what the ridge looked like where I got on it. This openess didn't last long.
While pushing through lots of small crowded trees I came across this old blue diamond market on a fallen tree.
Finally, a ways before the marked trail/road on the GPS I came across this old road and travel became much easier.
Helluva bump, but I figured this might be a nice dumpster dive to find "Greg's Valley View." The suspected area, a landing around 1300' at 47.4555, -121.6779 and 1.5mi along the road, was (unsurprisingly) overgrown, but I was fairly certain it was the same spot.
I noticed eroded footprints climbing the ridge behind it, so I followed them up a few hundred feet before reaching the extremely brushy ridgetop. The original plan had been to contour along the top until I reached the mentioned old road shown on the history 1915-1945 maps and eventually connect to the east "peak", but I don't think there are any views left so I turned around when I saw the state of the brush. I don't think the official grouse "summit" has any views, and I'm not sure accessing the cliffs I can see on satellite is feasible as they are a distance from the road.
Could use some drainage work about 3/4 mi up where possibly a clogged culvert or redirected stream has flooded about 30' of road. Clearly sees some bootprints, and I explored all of the spurs to dead ends, but there is not much payoff beyond the satisfaction of putting one foot in front of the other
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