Garland Peak anchors the very southern extreme of the Entiat Mountains. The Entiat Mountains contain some of the non-volcanic giants of Washington State, such as Mt. Maude, Seven-Fingered Jack, and Mt. Fernow. Garland isn't nearly the commitment that these other peaks are in terms of time, or in the case of Fernow, route-finding and effort. A trip here, however, will put you into some of the same great country with fantastic views of the Glacier Peak Wilderness. While Garland lies just off the Basalt Ridge Trail, it probably does not get the attention it deserves, and so consequently, is climbed only a few dozen times per year at most.
Garland Peak is on the dry side of Glacier Peak and lies just outside the boundaries of Glacier Peak Wilderness. While Glacier Peak is known for its wet and lush forests, this area is bone-dry. Be sure to carry a lot of water, as this trip is a ridge scramble with no dependable water sources.
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Drive US-2 to Wenatchee Lake, finding the Chiwawa River Road. Drive on this road 9.4 miles and turn right onto road #6210 for 6 miles to the trailhead for trail #1530, elevation 3900 feet.
Hike up the steep trail for 1.5 miles, coming to the junction with trail #1515 (The Basalt Ridge Trail). Turn right (north)on Basalt Ridge at the junction, hiking a further 3.5 miles along the dry ridge-top to a junction with trail #1408 at a sub-summit northwest of Garland Peak. Leave the trail, and hike the ridge southeast about 1 mile to the summit of Garland Peak.
Trip Stats: 12 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: About 4000 feet with ups and downs
Difficulty: Class 2.
No need for a helmet, but bring an ice ax.
The entire trip to Garland Peak lies in unprotected area of the Wenatchee National Forest. A Northwest Trail Park Pass ($30/year) may be required to park at the trailhead, but no permits will be required to travel to Garland Peak. If you follow trail #1408 2 miles beyond the turn-off to Garland Peak, a Wilderness permit will be required for travel within Glacier Peak Wilderness.
This trip is bone-dry. There will be no camping opportunites unless you travel in early season and benefit from snowmelt. Otherwise, the earliest camping possibilities will be in the basin south and below Garland Peak. Six miles beyond the junction with trail #1408, you will arrive at Larch Lakes, which are just stunning and will provide good camping.
Information on US Forest Service road conditions and closures can be found here:
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality."