Beckler Peak (July 8, 2012)

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beckler_pk_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: ice axe
Map: USGS Skykomish
Area: Skykomish
Stats: 7.8mi, 2332' gain (round trip), 2h15m up, 1h45m down

Beckler...I picked Beckler because I wanted a trip that would get me over 10k gain for the month (in the first 8 days), had nice views, never been hiked (by me), and wouldn't involve a long trip over the pass on a holiday weekend. I wanted an early start to beat the head, temps were expected to be 80F in town.

The trail is fairly new and doesn't show up in books or maps yet, but a quick internet search found the directions to the TH and a GPS track of the route. I knew there would be some snow up on the ridge, just wasn't sure how much. I had my map, GPS and microspikes (I didn't think I'd get into steep snow but for me...they give me a sense of security on consolidated snow...but one could do this trip without them).

I was the first person at the TH (good, I had a chance to have the top to myself for a bit) and was packed and ready to go at 8:45am. Trail starts out walking a road, then about 1.7 miles in the "trail" goes through a short old cut area, and then transitions into real trail and older trees. The trail is traversing the SW slopes of Alpine Baldy as it heads up to the saddle between Alpine Baldy and Beckler. At the saddle (~3850') is where I found the first small snow patch. It's very short to cross and easy to find the trail on the other side.

The trail switchbacks up the east side of Beckler and at about 2.9miles (~4360') the snow gets more consistent. I lost the trail but manages to follow it for the most part by stopping to look for trail in some of the melted areas and keeping an eye on my map. In pretty short order I was at the end of the trail and the top. I didn't linger long, I was hoping to beat the west bound traffic on Hwy2 by getting down early (I failed on beating the traffic).

Oh yeah...skeeters were out.

Not the place to be, either, if you aren't comfortable with route finding on snow. The trip needs another couple of weeks to melt out up high.

Directions to the TH (from Seattle): Drive Hwy2 east. At 1.9mi past the Skykomish ranger station, turn left onto FS 6066. Drive FS 6066 1.6 miles and at the road junction, bear right and head uphill. Continue on FS 6066 until you reach the TH 6.6 miles from Hwy2, elevation ~2760'. The road is a one lane road with a few pullouts (there aren't many) do drive slow and be prepared for opposing cars. The road down low looks like it got pretty mucky from the rains before the 4th but it's in decent shape now. A regular clearance car can make it to the TH.

More information on the lookout: This is a former lookout site. The structure, a 6'c6' cab (log cabin) on a 25' tower, was built in 1924. It was destroyed in 1958.
Beckler Peak Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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