Beckler Peak

Saturday I was out until late hiking Icicle Ridge near Leavenworth. Sunday I joined Gwen for another drive out Highway 2. We met in Bothell and headed east. After the Skykomish Ranger Station we turned right onto Road 6066. It is a little wet with potholes but we had no trouble reaching the road end trailhead. There is only space for about a dozen cars in the lot. I thought there was little room to park along the road. I was wrong. We arrived at 8:30 am to find several parking spots still available.

I found out about this trail when it was just finished in 2008. Kim and I hiked it when there were no footprints. It was  three years later in 2011 that it was officially opened. Funds for parking were hard to come by and the trail sat unused until then. I listed my trip report as "New Trail" as I promised not to identify it before parking was established. I hiked it four times before the opening. The last time was right before in 2011. I had not been back since it was discovered. I knew it would be popular. It is. 7.4 well graded miles with 2300' of elevation gain to one of the few mountain top summits reached by trail along Highway 2. It should not have been accessible in February with the 3000' trailhead but there has not been  much snow this winter.

Gwen and I headed out at about 8:50 am. It was cool but sunny. When I first hiked it the road went farther. Now the spur has been closed down. We hiked to the old small road end parking and continued on old road bed. All the culverts had been pulled since my last visit in 2011. The old road had a cathedral of overhanging trees that were removed to get in the heavy equipment to remove the culverts. In the short term the road/trail does not look as good as it did. In time it will recover. The road continues about half way to the top. Then it ends abruptly at an old logging landing. There are great views to the south. Mts. Daniel and Hinman loom large. A great place for a break. There are also good fall colors here.

Now the route changes markedly. The road through a clear cut with many deciduous trees gives way to deep dark old forest. The new trail gains elevation at a steady and moderate pace. Gwen did this trail last January. Another low snow time. When we stopped at the saddle between East Beckler Peak and Alpine Baldy I pointed out the old cabin just off the trail. She had not see it last year. Somewhere before the three mile point we found snow. It was hard but easy enough to walk on. Intermittent snow slowly became nearly continuous. The last half mile was mostly on snow. The many boot steps have made it very easy to follow. Quite a few folks were heading down as we neared the top. At about 11:00 am we topped out on the summit.

There were plenty of folks already there. Word was out that snow would not stop anyone from reaching the top. We had put on microspikes near the top and they were helpful though not essential. On my first few visits we had almost no views. Finally, I had a trip with views to the south and northwest. I still had not seen Glacier Peak to the north yet. Mission accomplished. Glacier and every other peak was in clear view. There were a few high clouds but the views were outstanding. Soon after arriving I met Chris. He recognized me on Dirty Face Peak back in 2006. We had a nice conversation. Last year atop Mt. Dickerman we met again. This was the third time we have met on a mountain top. He stayed on top nearly as long as us. I also saw Dani on the summit.

We were in no hurry. Over two hours passed before we decided to start down. At 1:15 pm we packed up and began to descend. It was a little chilly on top and I warmed up quickly on the descent. We made pretty good time. The microspikes helped us stay on our feet. We took a short break at the saddle. On the lower road we did some drainage work as water was running down the trail. We reached the trailhead at 2:55 pm.  At one point we counted 35 people on the summit. Folks came and went continuously. I had no idea where they parked. The drive out explained a lot. Though the road fairly narrow we counted about four dozen cars outside the parking lot. There were gaps too where folks had already left. There may have been ninety or more cars in total parked in the lot and along the road. I never would have believed they could all fit.

The summit was crowded with winter hikers this day. Lots of people out enjoying the good weather, lack of snow, and great views. And that is okay with me. On most of my hikes I do not see many hikers. I expect crowds on trails like Beckler Peak. It is a very nice addition to the trail inventory. Well worth the effort for a great new trail and terrific views.

Early View South
Removed Culvert Spot
Gwen On Road/Trail
Another Culvert Gone
Better Views
Daniel In The Gap
Hair Ice
Snow On Trail
Getting Deeper
Microspikes Time
Mt. Daniel
Almost On Top
Mt. Hinman
Mt. Baring
More Peaks
Glacier Peak
Mt. Daniel Again
Spires Close Up
Sloan Peak
Wild Sky Peaks
West Beckler Peak
Mt Fernow
Daniel & Hinman
Gwen Sawyer At Work
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2015