Porcupine Mountain (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 07-May-2020

Porcupine Mountain sits just north of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Soda Mountain and Pilot Rock. It’s in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument right next to the Soda Mountain Wilderness. We’ve hiked to the views from its summit several times before. But always from a start to the west where the PCT crosses the road to Pilot Rock. This time we decided to start from the east where the Baldy Creek Road intersects with the PCT. This is the informal trailhead for Boccard Point. The short section of the PCT from here to Porcupine is an easy one that passes through patches of meadow and forest, with big views all along the way. The hike out-and-back to Porcupine is only 6 miles with 1,100 feet of gain and today was a perfect day (weather-wise) to do it. 🙂

The still running spring near the Bean Cabin site
Trillium (with guests)
Mount Shasta from the PCT
The PCT crosses one of the open meadows
View to the northwest: (1) Pilot Rock, (2) Porcupine Mountain, (3) Mount Ashland

About 1.5 miles from the trailhead we passed a signed junction with the eastern end of the Lone Pilot Trail which the Siskiyou Mountain Club had carved out of old roads several years ago. This is a good long hike and about the only way to visit the interior of the western portion of the Soda Mountain Wilderness on any sort of trail.

Mount Shasta (again) from the PCT
Great Polemonium
Pilot Rock and Point 5321 (1) from the PCT [there are good views of Pilot Rock from Point 5321]

At a little over 2.5 miles from the trailhead, we reached a very faint junction with an old (now decommissioned) road that runs up and over Porcupine’s southern flank. It’s not very obvious at first but becomes increasingly so as it climbs Porcupine’s gentle southeastern ridge to the broad summit plateau.

Mount Ashland from Porcupine
Mount McLoughlin from Porcupine

This was meant to be a half-day hike as there was (remote) work waiting at home. It’s both ironic and sad that at a time when so many other people are losing their jobs – people who really need those jobs – I’m now back in the working world part-time. True it’s highly specialized work for a good cause but it still seems a little unfair. Sigh. :/ So, after a few photos from the summit, it was back to the trailhead.

Threadleaf Phacelia
Boccard Point (1) and Point 5900 (2) from the PCT
New growth along the PCT with Soda Mountain (1) in the distance
To Porcupine and back!
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4 comments

  1. Considering we’re in a serious drought at the moment, it’s kind of amazing we’re seeing all these wildflowers. But that’s likely just the result of their adaptation to what is generally a dry environment. Plus we’re going on shorter hikes that give us more time to stare at the ground. 🙄 The purple flower is likely a Threadleaf (or Narrowleaf) Phacelia.

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  2. It looks like you are having a very good year for flowers! And that purple flower is definitely some kind of phacelia. 🙂

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  3. A great looking hike that I have not done. May go there soon. Did you find many ticks? Thanks for the narrative and photos.

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