Earl Peak (Jul 9, 2017)

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earl_pk_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Enchantment Lakes
Area: Teanaway
Reference: n/a
Stats: 6.88mi, 3390' gain (for the loop)

Finally...a return trip to Earl Peak!

We got an early start leaving from the east side. The road most of the way to the trailhead is in good shape. Teanaway Road and Teanaway Road North Forak are recently paved. Even NF-9737 is recently graded and in great shape. But that last big of road (the right turn is just before the bridge over Beverly Creek) is starting to get rough. It's pretty darned overgrown in many spots (think paint scraping) and the road is getting some pretty big dips and ruts. My 4Runner did just fine. A Subaru would be OK. Possibly even a regular clearance car could make it with some care. But...the old super low clearance Jetta wouldn't have a chance on ther road. We reached the trailhead (3661') and found the last good spot open. We parked, made sure we had plenty of water (we knew it would be a warm day) and headed up the trail.

About 1/2 mile up the trail/road is the first junction (3938'). Going straight keeps you on the Beverly Turnpike trail. We went right...steeply uphill. About 3/4 mile up the trail from the TH we reached the first creek crossing (4163'). We brought creek crossing shoes. They weren't needed. Nothing a good rock hopper with a pole for balance can't handle. The trail gets to the other side of Bean Creek and continues uphill. Lots of flowers out...lupine, larkspur, lots and lots and lots of color.

We reached the 2nd trail junction about at about 1.9 miles from the car (5262'). Going left takes you up to Bean Creek Basin. We headed right...the trail heads up to the saddle south of the Earl Pk summit. It's good trail. Steep but not overly so. It just doess't let up the whole trip. The trailhead is at 3661' elevation and the summit is at 7036' and the trip one way is just under 3.5mi so yeah...it' steep (3367' gain in 3.5 miles one way to the summit).

It was getting pretty warm. I had to remind myself it is July after all. I stopped at the creek crossings to dunk my hat in the cool water. Felt awesome! Once the trail to Earl splits off from the trail heading up to Bean Creek Basin the trail was in and out of the forest. It was nice to get some shade. The flower show up to the saddle never really let up. We reached the saddle (3mi  mil and 6199') and then followed the boot path up to the Earl summit. The last bit up to the Earl summit is steep (gains 864' in just under 1/2 mile). We had the place to ourselves. There was a party up early in the morning (to catch sunrise) but we didn't see or hear another soul the whole time we were at the top. We found the register, signed it, had some lunch, took plenty of photos, and then finally decided it was time to head down.

We were back to the car about 5pm. It was still pretty darned warm outside. It was nice to have the comfort of AC. The drive back to Seattle was notable for the traffic. We knew about the lane closures and were prepared to sit. The radio said about a 25 minute delay. Hogwash...it was likely well over an hour. Dinner in North Bend, home by 9:30pm and in bed by 11pm. Yike...work tomorrow will be hard...
 
Earl Peak Slideshow

earl_pk_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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