Pumpelly Trail Description

Trail signs and intersections
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Trail on map The Pumpelly Trailhead on Lake Road in Dublin The start of the Pumpelly Trail Sign at an early turn in the trail Sign at the intersection with the Cascade Link Paint on the rocks showing the direction of the Pumpelly Trail at the Cascade Link
Paint on the rocks showing the direction of the Pumpelly Trail at the Spellman Trail Sign on Pumpelly Trail at intersection with Spellman Trail Paint on the rocks showing the Spellman Trail going off to the left Intersection with the Red Spot Trail Sign at the intersection with the Red Spot Trail Paint on the rocks marking the end of the Pumpelly Trail at the summit

Elevation Gain: 1633 ft.
Length: 3.86 miles
Difficulty: 2
Popularity: 4

The longest steepest climb on the trail The trailhead for the Pumpelly Trail can be found on Lake Rd in Dublin. Parking is limited and is on the side of the road. The trail heads into the woods starting on private property. After only a couple hundred feet, there is a wooden sign with an arrow showing the trail turns to the right instead of going straight as it looks like it could do. The first 1.5 miles of trail are pretty gentle following some old roads and working up and down small hills while only gaining a little bit of elevation. Shortly after passing a small swamp on your right though, the trail turns sharp left and right into the first, longest, and steepest of the climbs of the trail. Here the trail heads up over many rocks and roots on the ground making your choice of footing important. In this section there appear to be many small side trails working around the hard parts, but please stay on the main trail and avoid these as they widen the trail and greatly affect erosion of the mountain. After climbing up and over many rocks, the trail still heads up steeply while becoming more of a deep ditch. This is nearing the end of the long steep climb.

View up to the summit along the trail After the long climb, there is a brief level section of trail before going up and over some large smooth rocks. You now get your first of many views along this trail looking out over the trees to the Northeast. Now the trail starts to have many sections of open rock that it follows as it steadily gains more elevation. With the open areas of trail come more views, but you will also need to pay attention for markings and cairns showing where the trail is leading. As the trail continues up the ridge, there are some short and steep descents in the trail, but for the main part it stays mostly level or headed up. Cairns are now becoming more frequent to mark the trail and you soon start being able to view the summit. Heading up a small peak along the ridge, the trail starts to get steeper including a few steep rocky scrambles and steeper open rock areas. Nearing the top of this sub peak you are treated to a great view back over the trail and to the sides. Just after this view, you come to the intersection with the Cascade Link and are about 2/3 of the way to the summit.

Continuing straight up the trail, it gets a little steep and head up over more open rock. Footing is solid and rock is easy to climb up. Soon the trail goes around a rise in the ridge and follows the side hill briefly. Staying along the right side of the ridge, the trail heads down a bit before gradually working back up. The trees are now getting a little shorter and you are more out in the open and get more views of the summit. Soon the Spellman Trail joins from your left just before a quick dip down in the trail that is a bit steep on both sides. After coming up out of this dip, the trail opens up much more and many cairns mark the path. The trail stays mostly straight as it works up the ridge and soon comes to the intersection with the Red Spot Trail from you left. Now you are a short distance from the summit and it is clearly in sight. Again, the trail stays mostly straight and is quite easy to follow. It is now gaining the last bit of elevation up a moderate climb over bare rock. Soon you are at the summit and rewarded with the great views in all directions.


When descending... the trail is marked by painter letters on the Northeast side of the summit. It works down the mountain over the open rock marked by cairns. The first trail that you come to is the Red Spot Trail on your heading to your right. Continuing down the mountain a little further, you will reach the Spellman Trail on your right just after a quick dip down into the trees. Now the open areas are smaller and shorter with more trees along the trails. After a while longer and after a moderate descent in the trail, you will come to the Cascade Link on your right and the last trail heading back towards the park headquarters. Continuing down the trail you stay mostly in the trees until you reach the start of the longest steepest descent on the trail. You are now completely in the trees. After the steep descent, the last third of the trail is an easy walk over rolling ups and downs back to the trailhead.

Trail signs and intersections while descending
Start of the Pumpelly Trail at the summit Sign at the intersection with the Red Spot Trail Paint on the rocks showing the Red Spot Trail going to the right Paint on the rocks showing the Spellman Trail going to the right Sign at the start of the Spellman Trail on the right Paint on the rocks showing the direction of the Pumpelly Trail at the Spellman Trail Sign at the intersection with the Cascade Link
Paint on the rocks showing the direction of the Pumpelly Trail at the Cascade Link The end of the Pumpelly Trail at Lake Road in Dublin  
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