OverviewRoughhouse Mountain is a mid-elevation peak located in the southwestern side of Chelan County, Washington. The peak is unofficially named, but officially recognized as tied for 94th-highest elevation on the Washington "Back Court" peak list and tied for 49th-most prominent on the same list.
The mountain can be summited year-round. During snow-free periods, the standard approach is potentially driveable within 0.5 miles of the summit (or closer). During snow-bound periods, the standard approach is considered a decent snowshoe ascent from Highway 97, with gentle road grades and only 10-12 miles roundtrip (depending upon whether starting at Highway 97 & Forest Road 9715, or starting at Highway 97 & Swauk Campground "Sno-Park"). It is recommended to park at the official "Sno-Park" area at Swauk Campground, although many people (especially snowmobilers) commonly ignore that request at their own discretion and risk.
The summit has a communications building and tower. A road leads all the way to the summit. Because of this, and the low elevation of the peak, some people consider this mountain a "dumpster dive" rather than a worthy objective. However, those working on the "Back Court" peakbagging list, those looking for a non-technical snowshoe trip, and/or those looking for a relatively easy peak to summit might look to this peak.
Getting ThereFrom I-90 near Cle Elum, WA:
1) Along I-90, take Exit 85 (Exit for Highway 903/Highway 970).
2) Briefly head north, then head east, along Highway 970.
3) After ~10.3 miles, veer left/straight onto Highway 97 (northbound).
4) After ~9.5 miles further, Forest Road 9715 is found on the left (north) side of Highway 97, opposite Forest Road 9711/Durst Creek Road.
STANDARD APPROACH (USUALLY WHEN SNOW-FREE):
1) Drive up Forest Road 9715 for nearly 4.5 miles to "Old" Blewett Pass.
-> Either park at Old Blewett Pass or continue.
2) Turn left onto Forest Road 7322-200. There might be a sign pointing towards "Trail 1226" at this road junction.
3) Continue following the main road north to Roughhouse Mountain.
-> See the approach map at the bottom of the "Getting There" section.
1) Drive east along Highway 97 for 0.75 miles beyond the Forest Road 9715 road junction, to the Swauk Campground on the right (south) side of the highway.
2) Park in the campground "Sno-Park" parking area.
3) Walk back west along Highway 97 to Forest Road 9715, and then follow the approach directions listed above and/or on approach map shown below.
Red TapeNo fees or permits are required to visit Roughhouse Mountain. However, people parking at any trailheads and "Sno-Park" areas must use an appropriate and up-to-date "Northwest Pass" or "Sno-Park" pass (depending on current conditions upon visit).
Snowmobilers frequently visit the forest roads of this area during snowbound periods.
CampingAs Roughhouse Mountain is the site of an active communication complex, no camping is allowed on the mountain.
The nearest official campground is Swauk Campground, only 0.75 miles east of Forest Road 9715 along Highway 97.