USGS Pluvius, Pe Ell, Doty, and Boistfort

Walville Peak, Pacific County's Greatest Prominence Point

Doty Hills, Top 200 Prominence Peak in WA

(and lesser others)

WA DeLorme Atlas, page 45

August 31, 2003

Party:  Jeff Howbert, John Roper

Walville Peak, Pacific County's Greatest Prominence Point, right center

Jeff Howbert on Bucks Knob, photo looking SW. P and E Ridge just right of Jeff on skyline.

—Does anyone care about the rather huge chuck of Washington bounded on the north, east, and southeast by the Chehalis River, and on the south by the Willapa River, whose waters encircle a flying saucer-shaped mass of land from Westport and Aberdeen east up the Chehalis River to bounce off Centralia-Chehalis and back west to Pe Ell and Raymond-South Bend (the area between HWs 6 and 12)?  It is roughly the size of the Home Court.  For sure, Weyerhaeuser and its employees care, but few climbers do, and few climbers should.


Jeff Howbert asked me this does-anyone-care question as we headed up the long west ridge of P and E Ridge towards Squally Jim and Walville Peak via the Green Creek Road off HW 6 between Lebam (Mabel, spelled backwards) and Raymond (platted town in 1904), “Who else do you know that would get a kick out of what we are doing today?”


I thought long and hard and finally answered, “Maybe Stefan?”


“Maybe,” Jeff replied, “but he wouldn't be happy without some exercise, and it looks like the road's going to save us that.”  But we had our bikes strapped on the back of Jeff's Subaru for "gate insurance," just in case.


And maybe Jeff and I shouldn't have cared either, but today we did, for a couple of peculiar reasons (in 2003). We were out to “climb” two summits on obscure lists. Walville Peak is Pacific County 's candidate on the list of Washington's Greatest Prominence Peaks by County, and Doty Hills is a landform on the list of Top 200 Peaks by Prominence in Washington.


The P and E Ridge road ended in a huge borrow pit just west of Squally Jim which shows up with a precise BM elevation on the map of 2067.7 feet. We found a side road that reaccessed the abandoned ridge road just east of Squally Jim, and hiked it, finding no benchmark, and no views. Jeff wanted to visit the 2129' point to the east on this ridge as well, in part because that is where the Weyerhaeuser (WH) map puts the name.


After the above unsatisfying exercise, we returned to the car and followed good roads to the top of Walville Peak 2417' on the south (Half Moon Creek) side of the ridge. Even though this summit has 1657' of prominence, the greatest in Pacific County, and has a communications tower under construction, there were no views. A side road north before the summit allowed us a look north.

John Roper on top of Walville Peak, GPP of Pacific County


Hitchman notes that “Walville was a lumber town southwest of Chehalis in southwest Lewis County on the Pacific County line. It was named for the lumber company of Walworth & Neville Company in 1903, taking the first syllable of Walworth and the last of Neville.”


We followed the P and E Ridge road farther ENE (doesn't show on USGS, but did on the WH map) to park at a borrow pit SW of the summit where we short-hiked a very faint ATV scuff in the woods to the 1979' top. This gravel-pit park offered us the best views of the day so far, opening up vistas to the SE over Boistfort Peak, rising up with a very nice P2680' with St. Helens behind, and the High Point of Pacific County, an unnamed 3000+ spot SW of Pe Ell.


As we returned south to HW 6, we picked off Pluvius Hill, another why-bother named summit in Washington. Hitchman says this name came from a Latin word meaning rain, applied for the heavy rains in the area during the construction of the railroad here. Washington is a pluvious state, characterized by pluviosity.

It is just W or SW of Pluvius that the wet lips of the Willapa and Chehalis Rivers kiss (via their intermediaries) and seal the liquid embrace around this big body of land.  Willapa River, Bay, and town get their names from an Indian tribe that once lived here, but died out about 1910 (also spelled Whilla-pah, Whil-a-pah, and Willopah).


Heading back to Pe Ell (local Indian mispronunciation of 1850s pioneer Pierre Charles first name), we lunched on a Texaco burrito, and poked our way to the top of Cherry Hill, just NE of this struggling town.

Doty Hills center, Bucks Knob left, viewed from SE on Ceres Hill

Doty ranks 162nd on the WA peaks with most prominence

Next we drove up to Doty (town named for 1900 sawmill builder) and followed west up Elk Creek Road to turn up WH Road 7011 to Road 9200, bypassing Bucks Knob and picking our way through a logging operation to eventually come out on the top of Doty Hills 2487' (with a very nice P1887') after a short brush bash. This is the highest point in all this huge land mass between Aberdeen, South Bend, and Centralia, but is currently viewless, except for a peek at the Capitol Forest on the last spur. On the way back out we chanced on an unmapped road that went right to the top of freshly logged Bucks Knob which afforded the premier views of the day. Lots of nice tree-growing country around here.


On the return to the freeway we scampered up to the top of Ceres Hill (Roman goddess of agriculture), and a silver-fir tree farm now.

330 miles RT from Bellevue .