Shoofly Mountain is a peak located on the western side of Chelan County in Washington State. The peak is modest in elevation, only reaching 5410', and is located adjacent to semi-popular Top Lake Trail #1506. The peak only requires YDS Class 1 hiking for the 3/4 of the trek, with the final 1/4 of the trek being only straightforward YDS Class 2 off-trail hiking, with only 1600' elevation gain in the total 2.75-mile span.
But despite its modest elevation, location in proximity to semi-popular hiking trails, and low-level mountaineering skills needed, Shoofly Mountain is a fairly neglected and rarely summited peak. The old American song "Shoofly, Don't Bother Me!" really seems to fit with the name of this peak, as most hikers seem to ignore it. In actuality, the mountain was originally named by Carl Hardman, a Forest Service trail foreman. While Hardman was busy constructing the Lake Creek Trail near the mountain he encountered many horse flies, deer flies, and mosquitoes. Hence, he named the mountain "Shoofly" after the experience.
Due to treecover at the summit, there is not a 360-Degree panoramic view. However, the summit has very good views of Glacier Peak, Sloan Peak, Labyrinth Mountain, Mount Daniel, and Wenatchee Ridge (a.k.a. Poets Ridge). These views alone could make the summit a worthwhile objective for many levels of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The shortest and most straightforward way to summit Shoofly Mountain is to start at the trailhead (~3800' elevation) for Top Lake Trail #1506. Hike approximately 2.0 miles along the Top Lake Trail. The trail hike will lead through evergreen forest, gain obstructed views of Shoofly Mountain (to the north) at approximately 4250' (and above), pass a small stream crossing (and backcountry campsite), climb a switchbacked section of trail, and then ascend steeply up to approximately 4900' elevation to where the southwest slope of Shoofly Mountain appears to be gentle-sloped to the trail. For reference, if you see a rock/boulder slope you have gone too far, but that boulder field can be climbed up to a meadow area which leads to the southwest ridgeline of the mountain.
At approximately 4900' elevation, leave the Top Lake Trail and begin ascending north/northeast along the forested ridgeline. The ground-growth will be plentiful but non-obstructive for a summit attempt. Pants and/or gaiters are recommended, but not required, to limit scratches from underbrush. Follow the southwest ridgeline to the true summit, for approximately 0.75 miles, eventually exchanging thick forest with more open meadow slopes. There are two very minor false summits; one at 5250' elevation and one at 5350' elevation. Keep following the ridgeline to the true summit. The true summit can be easily identified by its spine-like row of large boulders coming out from it.
Although in theory Shoofly Mountain can be summited year-round, access roads leading to the Top Lake Trailhead tend to be closed during months when snow covers them. The mountain is most recommended to be climbed from late Spring to early Fall.
NOTE: Although no official "trail" leads to the summit, several faint animal paths can be periodically found and followed during the ridgeline traverse.
Both Shoofly Mountain and Top Lake Trail are shown on Green Trails Map #144.
Getting ThereEastbound From Stevens Pass:
1) From Stevens Pass, follow Highway 2 eastbound for 4.0 miles (approximately MilePost 68.6).
2) Turn left and cross the (divided) highway onto Forest Road 67 (FR-6700).
3) Follow FR-6700 for 12.2 miles, to the intersection with FR-6701.
4) Turn left onto FR-6701, and follow for 5.4 miles.
5) Turn left onto Road 500, towards Top Lake Trailhead, and follow for 2.7 miles.
6) Turn left onto an unmarked road towards Top Lake Trailhead, and follow for 0.4 miles to the trailhead (on the right/north side of the road). The road ends shortly after the trailhead, and there is a small turnaround at that location. Space is limited; only side-of-the-road spots are available.
No trailers or motorhomes are permitted on the road.
Westbound from Leavenworth:
1) From Leavenworth, follow Highway 2 westbound for approximately 15.3 miles to Highway 207 (approximately MilePost 84.7).
2) Head north (right) on Highway 207.
3) After 11.5 miles, continue straight through a gate. This is the beginning of Forest Road 65 (FR-6500). An “End of County Road” sign is located at the gate.
4) Turn left at the intersection with FR-6700, and follow for 0.4 miles to the intersection with FR-6701.
5) Turn right onto FR-6701, and follow for 5.4 miles.
6) Turn left onto Road 500, towards Top Lake Trailhead, and follow for 2.7 miles.
7) Turn left onto an unmarked road towards Top Lake Trailhead, and follow for 0.4 miles to the trailhead (on the right/north side of the road). The road ends shortly after the trailhead, and there is a small turnaround at that location. Space is limited; only side-of-the-road spots are available.
No trailers or motorhomes are permitted on the road.
Red TapeA Northwest Forest Pass (trailhead parking permit) is required for Top Lake Trail #1506.
Shoofly Mountain is located within the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. Wilderness Area rules and regulations apply.
Shortcutting switchbacks is prohibited.
Maximum group size is 12 people (combined people and stock).
No motorbikes or bicycles allowed. No motorized tools, either.
CampingThe Rainy Creek Campground (of the Wenatchee National Forest) is located 8.0 miles from the Top Lake Trailhead, along FR-6701.
At least one backcountry campsite is passed en route to Shoofly Mountain, near a small stream crossing along Top Lake Trail #1506.
Other backcountry campsites are found at Top Lake, along the Top Lake Trail #1506, approximately 2.5 miles further from the off-trail turnoff for Shoofly Mountain.
Camping in excess of 14 days in a 30-Day period is prohibited in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.