Meadow Mountain
Day 2

We had a shorter day planned and were not in a hurry to get started. My tent was nearly dry. John's had a little condensation. Gary's tent was very wet. We decided to allow some time for them to evaporate somewhat. Our tents did not get early morning sun but there weer some big rocks across the basin that were perfect for a warmer breakfast. In the morning thermometers were reading about 40 degrees. It turns out that it was getting hot in Seattle. Sunday was 89 degrees. I slept just fine with the cool temperature. The day did get pretty hot but nowhere near the upper 80s. By the time we had eaten and packed up it was 9:40 am. One of the latest backpacking starts I can recall. Our goal for the day was the basin just before Fire Creek. That was only 4.5 miles away. Not far but not on easy trail.

The road/trail start was easy walking. The forest trail up to the ridge was easy walking. Most of the rest of the route is not easy walking. In places the tread is very narrow with roots and small plants growing in the trail. The slope is often very steep with amazing drop offs the edge of trail. In short it is necessary to watch most of your steps. This was also the case for our trip to Lost Creek Ridge in 2017. Just one ridge south of Meadow Mountain that trail is in similar shape. That is the main reason our pace was so slow. That said we had no trouble staying on the route. Where the trail disappears several times it picks right up again.

The route drops down into forest and climbs back into meadows. The route begins a more steady climb up meadow slopes. We found the only snow patches near the trail here. They will be gone very soon. The trail comes close to the top of the ridge. Here we left the trail and climbed up to the top. We reached the 6000' ridge top at 11:22 am. This spot had the best views of the day. We now had views to the north to add to the great southerly views we had on the south side. We could see Baker, Shuksan, Chaval, Green Mountain, Lime Ridge, Dome Peak, Grassy Point, and Bonanza from northwest through northeast. To the East was Glacier Peak. To the south we had Lost Creek Ridge, Black, White, Portal, Red, Rainier, Sloan, Pugh, Three Fingers, Whitehorse, and Whitechuck. That is a whole lot of peaks seen from one ridge. We were in no hurry to move on.

The couple we had seen several times was down in the basin to the north. They were soon gone not to be seen again. The other group at Owl Creek were staying one more night but would be gone when we headed back. We were alone on the east end of Meadow Mountain's ridge. Who says there is no solitude left? Most surprising was the fact that we had cell service from the ridge top. Not anywhere else on the trip but from this one spot. We had Verizon but not T-Mobile. It might be important in an emergency to know this. Two hours and twenty minutes later we headed on. That was one fine ridge top break.

We headed east on the ridge top and found the trail once again. It dropped to a saddle and disappeared. We headed down the south slope and it picked up again. The route now dropped into a number of small basins then rose over forested ribs and dropped into more basins. One was quite a steep climb to the top. We dropped down into the next basin and soon came to the last climb of the day. From there the trail dropped from 5800' to 5350'. That 450' was steep in places with a few logs down across the trail too. Lots of flower filled slopes along here. This basin has two creeks with a small grassy rise between them. We went on to the second one and found a good spot for our campsite. It was now 3:20 pm. We were done for the day.
After setting up camp we explored around the basin. Fire Mountain sat high above. Later in the evening we checked out all the interesting rocks in the basin. Some had different colored layers. Some has a squiggly layer of rock. Lots of really neat rocks. We also saw several marmots and pikas in the basin. By the time we were done it was nearly sunset. Another evening in our tents by about 9:10 pm Unlike most backpacking trips I slept well every night. That made for an even better trip. This day had a lot of sitting down and enjoying some spectacular scenery. We did not hike far. For the day we hiked  4.5 miles with about 1180' of gain and lightly more elevation loss.

Shady Camp
Sunny Breakfast Spot
Logs Down
Shady Trail
Glacier Peak View
Open Meadows
More Flowers
Western Anemone
Three Fingers Mountain
Whitehorse Mountain
Ranier & Monte Cristos
Snow & Peaks
View Northwest
Dome Peak
Mt. Baker
Diamond Lake
Western Anemone Flower
Sloan Peak
Glacier From Ridge
Black Mountain
Whitechuck River
Guys & Glacier Peak
On Trail
John & Gary
Great Flower Colors
Clear Creek
Campsite Below
Fire Mountain
Unusual Rock
Basin Flowers
Gary On The Rocks
Unusual Paintbrush
Panorama of The 6000' Viewpoint Ridge
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

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Meadow Mountain Report