Taneum Butte (or 5827) is a summit located just west of the more popular Frost Mountain. According to Peakbagger this peak only has 387 feet of prominence making it not an official summit. However List of John lists it as having 407 feet of prominence which does make it an official summit. It doesn't matter if it is an official summit or not the peak itself is well worth visiting especially if you are going for neighboring Frost Mountain just 2 miles to the east of it. Unlike Frost Mountain there is no trail or boot-path for that matter that goes to the summit. One has to walk up a moderately steep open slope all the way to its open and panorama summit.
Views from the summit in many ways are just as good if not better than neighboring and slightly lower Frost Mountain. One can has an excellent view of the Stuart Range and of the Teanaway Region as well. Also to the west of Taneum Butte lights Quartz Mountain and Manastash Ridge while to the east is Frost Mountain and the Ellensburg area. In fall this summit is a great place for watching western larches. Western Larches usually are at there peak color in late October and there are many of these trees in this area.
Getting ThereFROM EXIT 109 IN ELLENSBURG: Take Canyon Road for a half mile. Make a left onto Umptanum Road and stay on it as it heads west for 1.7 miles. Make a right onto Manastash Road and then take Manastash Road 6.9 miles until in runs into Forest Road 31. Stay on Forest Road 31 all the way until the intersection with Forest Road 3100. Make a left onto Forest Road 3100 and take it a half mile past the The Frost Mountain Trailhead and turn off on Forest Road 115 (may be unsigned). As of 2016 this road is very doable in a passenger vehicle. However there are some potholes towards the end near the Frost Mountain Trailhead.
If doing Taneum Butte solely the peak is about 2 miles rountrip and 700 feet of elevation gain. Tanuem Butte starts off as a standard Forest Road walk up first FR 115 then make a left at the T intersection. Take the road past the ridgeline and then head uphill off trail. This section can be best described as an off-trail walkup to the summit of Tanuem Butte. If done correctly there should be no hand to hand scrambling or exposed terrain. The summit is straight forward steep walking through low cut sagebrush. Most try to combine this peak with Frost Mountain to make a double summit morning.
Red TapeThere is no Red Tape on Taneum Butte.
When to Climb
Though this mountain can be climbed throughout much of the year, it is best that it is climbed in mid-October when the western larches are in peak. The summers in this region are very warm and very dry. Watch out for forest fire danger if attempting this peak in August. If the temperature is forecasted to be over 90 in Ellensburg than skip this mountain for another day. This summit is rarely ever attempted in winter due to access issues.
There are a number of camping areas heading up Forest Road 31 and 3100. Many of these campsites are free but some may have fees.
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