June 23rd, 2014 in Trips, Trails, & Tours
Finally the trails above High Camp are beginning to melt out, at least the south facing slopes and lower open areas. This past weekend we hiked to McCue Ridge via the Sunset Trail. Accessing the ridge using this trail feels like you are Maria in Sound of Music! There are big views and wildflowers everywhere all summer long. It just makes you want to yodel!
You exit High Camp on Mack’s Express and almost immediately turn off this wooded steep trail. You follow the Sunset Trail as it winds up Wild Bill Hill. The big view comes about half way up Wild Bill. You have to stop and turn around and there is Glacier Peak big as life! You continue up the Sunset Trail 3/4 of a mile to Sunset Meadow which was featured in our last newsletter with its view of Big Jim over the Chiwaukum drainage. Continuing up the ridge on Upper Sunset you climb through forests then enter the meadows as you gain elevation. The views just keep on coming as the Chiwaukum Mountains open up. There is truly nothing like a ridge hike with scenery in all directions. As you near the 6000 foot mark the ridge levels out a bit (as much as anything in the mountains is level). You are wandering along this high vista that just makes you want to sing.
This route meets the regular Forest Service trail that goes south down the ridge to Lake Chiwaukum or drops off the other side of the ridge towards Lake Julius. You can take the trail towards Chiwaukum a short distance to the Wilderness sign and then stay on the ridge off trail climbing higher. On the day we were hiking there were still huge patches of snow and mosquitos feasting at every turn. We found an open area with a breeze and sat back reflecting on the beauty of this wild wonderful world.