Scatter Peaks (also known as "Van Epps") is the unofficial name for the highpoint on the ridge (Point 7031) just north of Van Epps Pass and south of Solomon Peak. It deserves an official USGS designation. This peak is a lot of fun. One of the more interesting things about this scramble is that it is entirely off trail. There is absolutely no trail on this trip. You will drive on a logging road, find a ridge, and head up hill through forest to gain the ridge. From there, run out a beautiful ridge with views in all directions to a solid, Class 3 summit.
Drive up the logging road just a short distance (a couple of hundred yards) and park (Elevation 3,200 feet). Find the beginnings of the forested ridge just to your east and begin climbing through forest. The forest is dark, but never too hard to negotiate. You will begin to break out into the open about 5,500 feet. Once on top of the ridge, continue along the ridge crest directly east, passing over two false summits. The true summit is the third summit, and features an impressive looking rock face from the west. The climbing route lies directly up this face via a series of cracks and ledges. It is solid rock, but a fall here can lead to serious injury. Some parties may feel more comfortable with a rope for a rappel from the summit. Round-trip distance: 8 miles, Elevation gain: 3,600 feet plus minor ups and downs.
CampingThis area is east of the Cascade Crest and is consequently very dry. After early July, there will be few snow banks, and there are no creeks on this trip at all. Camping is not really an option, unless you choose to climb this peak from the north (see Fish Eagle Peak) and camp at the headwaters of Scatter Creek. There are some very nice campsites there, and it is very scenic. Your climb will be more challenging from this direction, though.
Contact InformationFor those who wish to contact the Forest Service, use the following contact information:
US Forest Service
Cle Elum Ranger District
West 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922