To The TrailAfter years of looking at Bedal Peak from many angles, it was time to see it up close. We picked a perfect fall day in October and took the scenic drive down the Mountain Loop Highway from Granite Falls, past Barlow pass, along the backside of the loop to forest service road 4096. It's probably faster to drive to Darrington and take the loop from that direction but we were already in the Granite Falls area. FS road 4096 doesn't show up on many maps but is just south of North Fork Sauk rd. After a couple of switchbacks on 4096 we found a small pullout to park in and walked a short distance up the road to find the unmarked trailhead.
Up the TrailLike many such unmaintained routes in the Cascade's west slopes, this path gains elevation quickly. The route starts up the west face and then traverses around to the NW.
Once on the NW shoulder there is more elevation gain to be had before coming to a large gully. We crossed the gully angling upward and found a short scramble route up the gully wall. We picked up the path once again and ascended out of the trees into open meadows and boulder fields.
Once on the boulders we continued upward toward the summit while also traversing around to the east face. There were a couple of frozen snowfingers to cross, requiring the use of instep crampons. Once above the snowfields we finished up by angling to the left side of the summit block and scrambled the easy rock to the top.
Overall we were surprised at how pleasant and quick the climb was. Not as brushy and nasty as we were expecting. There was an abundance of flagging (almost too much) and for the most part the bootpath was more obvious than we anticipated. Definitely one to come back to later.