Koppen a Peak above DeRoux Creek (Jun 29, 2020)

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deroux_ck_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Mount Stuart
Area: Teanaway, WA
Reference: n/a
Stats: 5.89mi, 1879' gain (round trip)

I wanted to try to get back up Koppen Mtn. It's been years since I've been up there and that one other trip was on snowshoes. I've been trying find to find hikes that would avoid crowds in this day of COVID. This one fit the bill. I only saw one other person the whole day.

I got an early start. I'd forgot how the first part of this trail is a gorgeous forested hike. The first part of the trail is mellow and nearly flat. Finally reaching a junction (right goes to Gallagher Head Lake), I went left and headed up the switchbacks. I eventually hit the top of the ridge and took a short break. There was a slight boot path heading off to the left towards Koppen. I followed that and almost right away hit a steeper section of "trail" covered in a lot of blowdownn. I really don't think this is official trail (I could be wrong), it's pretty steep in sections and just doesn't look like it gets much attention.

I headed up a few hundred feet from where the trail popped over the ridge and reached on open spot. I could see over the valley to Iron Peak where I was two days earlier. I'll be honest to say that I just wasn't feeling like heading up. Steep trail just isn't fun when I'm heading back down. And...I've been trying to be smart about not taking too many risks when I'm hiking solo. I thought about making this my lunch spot but instead decided to head back down to the low point on the ridge. I found a nice stump here, dropped my pack, and enjoyed a quite lunch in solitude.

There was one other car at the trailhead when I started off earlier in the morning. While I was enjoying my lunch I heard footsteps behind me...that driver was a hiker headed downhill from Koppen. We chatted a bit (socially distant). I was interested in what the route to the summit looked like. He didn't actually go to the high point but did say the trail is generally steep most of the way with only one section of steep loose gravel. So I consoled myself that maye I did make the smart choice to keep my day easy.

I took it slow hiking back down to the car, there was no reason to rush. It was fun just to take in the sounds of the creek, the wind blowing through the valley, and to just be thankful to be outside.
Deroux Creek Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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