Bean Peak Loop

Gwen was free and wanted to go on a scramble summit trip. We had the unusual summer situation with sunny skies and moderate temperatures east of the crest. We chose to redo a trip we did in 2013. A loop trip in the Teanaway Valley. From the Beverly Creek Trailhead we would go up to Bean Creek Basin, climb Bean Peak, then loop back via Beverly Creek Basin. Recent trip reports mentioned that the wildflower show was winding down. We hoped to find better flowers along the trail north of bean and Mary Peaks. That aspect has less direct sunshine. We headed east from Seattle at 6:45 am. It was overcast and stayed that way until we were past Easton. This was my second trip up the NF Teanaway Road in 8 days. The main road is graded and in great shape. The Beverly Creek Road is not is very good shape. There is one much worse ditch across the trail down low. The upper drain ditch is also in bad shape. Two cars parked before the upper cut and walked the last short bit to the trailhead. With a Subaru Outback the road was not a problem.

We stopped in Cle Elum and reached the trailhead at 9:07 am. There were already a dozen cars in the lot. At 9:18 we started up the trail. The trail up to and along Bean Creek had a few wildflowers in bloom. When we crossed the creek they really started to show up. Harebells, salsify, Valerian, roses, columbine, scarlet gilia, pink and yellow monkeyflower, and more. All the side creeks were running though the water level is getting low. We continued up to the old creek crossing for the trail up over the shoulder of Earl Peak. Here we found a terrific garden of wildflowers. To the others seen below we added some very red Indian paintbrush and monkshood. I don't often see monkshood. They were right at peak. The scarlet gilia display here was excellent. Little did we know but it would get even better later on.

We quickly reached the crossing of Bean Creak and added some shooting stars and bog orchids to the mix. We met a couple who camped and were heading down. We saw hikers off and on but the total was only about 17 people all day. Ascending to the upper basin we saw more Indian paintbrush, shooting stars, and elephanthead lousewort. I saw only one small patch of elephanthead last week. This time there was a whole lot of it. It's a rare treat. The flowers really do look like an elephant's head. In the upper basin we had views of the peaks above. Bean Peak sits at the head of the basin. A trail cuts across the green field and we headed over to some campsites for a break. It was now 11:40 am and time for part of our lunch.

As we were leaving we met another couple coming up. In the old days circa 7 or 8 years ago the trail petered out in the upper basin. Now it just keeps going. Not an official trail but a very obvious boot path. I usually follow a thin boot path up the slope then head left towards Bean Peak. This time I was interested in seeing where this now major path would lead. In fact it leads all the way up to the ridge top just right of Bean Peak. That's no fun though so we did head left. A nice rising traverse took us through rock and grass to where we could scramble up a gully to better terrain. Now under the summit we headed more or less straight up. Scrambling rocks to where I could see two scramblers coming down. We soon met them. They were going the opposite or our route.

The rocks get steeper but not too steep as we climbed up to the start of the final scramble. I like this spot as the route appears to be almost vertical. The rock is very sticky and there are plenty of hand holds. Not hiking by any means but pretty good for experienced scramblers. The last 60 feet went quickly and we were on the summit of Bean Peak. It was 1:25 pm. Not a particularly fast pace but we had stopped for almost continuous photo opportunities. It always seems to be windy when I'm atop bean Peak but it was pretty light this day. A windshirt was all I needed. Time for the rest of my lunch. Great views from the top. It was an unusually cool July day in the Teanaway but it felt perfect. Mostly sunny sky and views in all directions.

The summit provides views of the top of Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier Three Brothers, Navaho, Earl, Jolly Mountain, Iron Peak, Judi, Mary, Fortune, Teanaway, Ingalls, Bill, and Volcanic Neck. Oh, and Mt. Stuart and the rest of the Stuart Range. Just enough snow on Stuart to provide some contrast. We even had a visit at 6743' by a marmot. We spent 35 minutes on the summit. It really is a great spot. At 2:00 pm we packed up and headed down. We had been on the trail for over 5 1/2 hours and were not yet half way. Of course, we had 7 1/2 hours of daylight left and it was almost all downhill now. The ridge down the north side of Bean is much less steep than the south side. We used our hands a little it was easy going right on the ridge top.

We found a lot of very small and colorful wildflowers on the ridge. Douglasia I recognized along with wallflower. The others I had seen before but don't know their names. Near the pass we met another couple coming up. The Bean Peak - Volcanic Neck saddle has some wondrous rocks. Very shiny green volcanic rocks. One of the fun parts of this loop trip. The lighting on Volcanic Neck brought out the orange and gray colors. The trail switchbacks down the bare slope to a flat below. Great views of the Stuart Range all the way down. Once back in most grassy ground the wildflower show picked up rapidly. A lot of shooting stars and numerous other flowers here. Another long photo break.

We finally started down the Hardscrabble (County Line) Trail. Hardscrabble Creek Basin is on the other side of that pass above. The route drops quickly on very rocky trail before leveling out for a nice easy walk over to Fourth Creek Pass. On the way we found all the creeks running strong. Two campsites were in use. More great wildflowers including more shooting stars, cinquefoil, and western anemone. We also saw some yellow columbine. That is my second sighting in eight days. We even saw a couple frogs in a creek. At Fourth Creek Pass we had good close views up to Bill Peak and over to Iron Peak.  Dropping down from the pass we met the last person of the day. A woman who had done a long day run up multiple peaks and many miles and was a little unsure of where she was exactly. She did have a paper map, something that is not as popular in recent years. Gwen cleared up the problem and she was off to finish her trip.

Beverly Creek Basin is not a well known flower garden like Bean Creek Basin but in a good year the show can be very good. This is a good year. Rather than the green of Bean Creek Basin, Beverly is more a desert like rock garden. This year the flower show is among the best I have seen there. Multiple varieties of Indian paintbrush including a yellow type with flowers much taller than usual. Not the stalk, the flower. Lupine was also blooming. Stonecrop was bright yellow. The scarlet gilia was ridiculously thick in places. Neither my phone nor camera have a viewfinder and the bright sunshine made it hard to see the flowers on the screens. It also was hard not to blow out some of the flowers themselves. We made very slow progress along this stretch. Near the bottom of the open basin we ran into a duo including Lauren from WTA. She recognized us first. Always fun to run into someone you know on the trail.

The trail soon reached Beverly Creek and then went into the forest. After hours out in the sun the cooler forest felt good. The last couple miles went by pretty fast. The last time Gwen and I were on this trail was May 2017 when we camped on the snowy summit of Iron Peak. That day Bean Creek was raging in the afternoon from snow melt. This day it was an easy rock hop across. Soon we were back at the car.

This day had just about everything right. Better than expected wildflower show, terrific summit views, and almost perfect weather. Not too hot and yet still a sunny day. We also had quite a bit of solitude. We saw about two people per hour on the trail. Not bad at all. The Teanaway Valley has great trips in all seasons. From snowshoe trips to skiing to summer hiking and backpacking. This time we had the best that summer can offer.

Beverly Creek
Flowers Along Creek
Red Columbine
Lewis Monkeyflower
Yellow Monkeyflower
Colorful Indian Paintbrush
Scarlet Gilia Close Up
Perfect Paintbrush
Ascending Basin
Gwen At Work
Bog Orchid
Basin Flowers
Bean Peak In View
Bean Summit Close Up
Paintbrush Patch
More Elephantheads
Shasta Ferns
Meadow Color
View Down Basin
Onto Big Rocks
Earl Peak
Red Rock
Another Scrambler
Rocks & Basin
Rainier & Mary
Step Final Scramble
Gwen Below Summit
Gwen On Bean Summit
Ridge To Mary Peak
Basin From Summit
Stuart Range
Dark Volcanic Neck
Sherpa Balanced Rock
Fortune & Ingalls Pks
Mt. Stuart
Gwen Starts Down
Pink Flowers
Gwen On North Ridge
Volcanic Neck
Stuart & Sherpa
Shooting Stars
Yellow Columbine
Underwater Frogs
Fourth Creek Pass
Lavender & Blue
Wider Shot
Teanaway & Bill Peaks
Sun On Gilia
Yellow Flower
Red On Black
More Scarlet Gilia
Very Wide Panorama View From The Summit Of Bean Peak
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2018