Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mad River-Sugarloaf Peak loop, southern Entiat Mountains

It is that difficult shoulder season that usually doesn't come until May: stay low and out of the snow, or go for something mid-altitude and deal with some slush and mud.

Choosing the latter, we put together a route in the southern Entiat: parking at Deer Camp we went up to Maverick Saddle, down the Mad River canyon to Pine Flats, took Mad River-Tillicum-Indian Creek roads and a steep cross-country climb up to Gold Ridge, up the ridge to Sugarloaf Peak, then Entiat Summit Road back to Maverick Saddle and down to the car.

Running almost the entirety of the Mad River Canyon was the highlight and the lower portion I hadn't done was very cool; a lot of cougar activity through there as well.

Cashmere, the tip of Stuart, Enchantment Peaks
Dropping down to the Mad River from Maverick Saddle
Mad River crossing
Ben's animation
Upper Mad River
A tree has outgrown its signs
Upper Mad River
Tyee Ridge Trail; "don't go that way!" Ben's photo
Fresh male cougar scrapes and scat
Miner's Ridge from Mad River
Cougar tracks; midway down Mad River
Climb away from the river where it's a gorge...
...and dropping back down
Lower Mad River canyon
Balsamroot in Indian Creek canyon
Indian Creek FS road
Cross-country climb from Indian Creek to Gold Ridge
Pausing on an old fire road bed, halfway up the climb
Aspen grove on the old fire road bed
Second half of the climb to Gold Ridge
Sugarloaf Peak looks too far away
Reaching Gold Ridge
Where I was last weekend: Baldy Mountain center-right; Stormy (center), Four Mile Ridge and Tyee (far left)
Shortcut toward Sugarloaf as the weather moved in
Snowing as we near Sugarloaf summit
He's just kidding...I hope...
Buddy photo at the Sugarloaf Peak lookout
Entiat Summit Road
Entiat Summit Road; Ben's photo
Looking back south toward the Chiwaukum, Cashmere-Stuart and Enchantment Peaks in the afternoon


  1. Now I know why cougar mtn/meadow is named such. Cool sighting. Also just as rare a sighting, Ben in new shoes!

  2. Looks like it's south part of Plain course. so it means we can go scouting the whole area now? Thanks!!

    1. There is still some snow around Maverick Saddle and patches throughout Mad River down to 3300' or so. Expect snow north of Maverick Saddle if you go soon.

  3. Come back to BC, Luke!!! I want to run with you.

    1. Not sure I'll be making it back to BC soon, but meeting in the North Cascades is half way...? :)