Scorpion Mountain is an alpine peak located on the eastern side of the Wild Sky Wilderness of Washington State. Access to the peak is most commonly achieved via Johnson Ridge Trail #1067. The trail traverses through sub-alpine forests and sub-alpine meadows to Scorpion Mountain and beyond.
The trailhead of Johnson Ridge Trail #1067 has a starting elevation of 3600'. The route to the summit of Scorpion Mountain is approximately 4.6 miles each way. The first mile switchbacks, and steadily gains elevation, through an abandoned logging area on the western edge of Johnson Ridge. The second mile traverses through old-growth and second-growth Douglas fir forest, still steadily gaining elevation, to the summit of Sunrise Mountain.
After passing the summit of Sunrise Mountain, the route steeply descends several hundred feet before beginning to re-ascend along the top of Johnson Ridge. Before reaching Scorpion Mountain, one or two spur trails appear to veer to the south. DO NOT use any of these spurs; keep following the main trail along the top of Johnson Ridge. After approximately 4.4 miles from the trailhead, Johnson Ridge Trail #1067 reaches its highest point at 5400' elevation. Shortly thereafter, the trail begins to gradually descend eastward along the meadow-filled southern side of Scorpion Mountain. At this point where the trail begins to descend along the meadow-filled slope, there is an old spur trail to the left which follows the north side of the ridgeline. Take this spur trail and follow the route approximately 0.2 miles to the summit of Scorpion Mountain (5540').
As of Summer 2008, some people constructed a memorial at the summit of Scorpion Mountain. The memorial is for a friend of theirs who passed away. It is a very nice tribute. Hopefully it will remain for a long time, as it adds a very special touch to the mountain.
Most travelers continue following Johnson Ridge Trail #1067 beyond the Scorpion Mountain summit, to nearby Joan Lake. The lake is only approximately 0.4 miles from the summit of Scorpion Mountain. To reach the lake, follow a trail from the summit that rejoins Johnson Trail #1067 on the southeastern side of the peak. The final slope down to Joan Lake is very steep. Use extra caution if the ground is wet or snow-covered, as this section of Johnson Ridge Trail #1067 can become very slippery.
In addition to Joan Lake, some mountaineers might opt to take a side-trip along an old fisherman's trail appears a short distance west of the Scorpion Mountain summit turnoff, veering south. Variations of the old fisherman's trail eventually lead toward places such as Mount Fernow, Kelly Creek, Mount Fernow Potholes, Alpine Baldy, and Beckler Peak.
Getting ThereDriving directions for Scorpion Mountain (Johnson Ridge Trail #1067):
1) Drive Highway 2 to Beckler River Road (also known as Forest Road 65).
This intersection is approximately 1/2-mile east of Skykomish and 1/2-mile west of the Skykomish Ranger Station.
2) Head north on Beckler River Road/ Forest Road 65. Follow for approximately seven miles.
3) Turn right (u-turn) onto Forest Road #6520.
This intersection is at an open area on the rightside of the road, just prior to the one-way bridge crossing Rapid River.
NOTE: Forest Road #6530 is also at this intersection (but follows Rapid River upstream), while Forest Road #6520 is a right u-turn (heading uphill).
4) Follow Forest Road #6520 for seven miles to the trailhead for Johnson Ridge.
Red TapeA Northwest Forest Pass (parking permit) is required. A Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from the Skykomish Ranger Station or any REI store in Washington State. A day-use pass costs $5; an annual pass costs $30.
-> UPDATE: According to local peakbagger Eric Willhite during 2012, all signs stating the requirement of the Northwest Forest Pass have been removed.
There is a register at the trailhead. The Forest Service requests all visitors of Johnson Ridge Trail #1067 to register before traveling on the route.
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