Note: For the time being, Trail #640 to the West Summit, West promontory summit, and Middle (Skadulgwas) Summit is closed to facilitate logging activity. Access to the Main (East) Summit is not effected. For more information, click here.
This is known as the Mt. Higgins Trail No. 640. It does not go to the Main Summit or even the high point of the West Summit, only the West Summit promontory (4,849 ft) where the old lookout used to be. The crux of this climb may well be finding the turn off from Hwy 530. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to find C-Post Road. C-Post Road is located 17.6 miles east of Arlington. The road sign is not all that obvious, so you might wind up seeing it on the way by, thus requiring you to turn around. Coming from Darrington, C-Post Road is 12.4 miles from town (1.1 miles past Hazel Road).
Once you get on C-Post Road, take it north across the river. At the road Y across the river, GO LEFT. Continue on up the windy road (watch for potholes) for approximately 3.5 miles to its end at the trailhead (c. 1,800 ft).
The trail first goes to Myrtle Lake (3,515 ft) in about 3.5 miles. It then passes a swampy area. The trail is brushy at times. In 4.5 miles the flat area where the old lookout was located is reached. Admire the views and go home. Or, if you feel like Thomas Magnum, go over and climb Skadulgwas Peak.
To reach the true high point of the West Summit, leave the trail at about 4,500 ft just before the notch and climb directly up very steep forest until you can go up no longer.
Appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.
Crampons for slick duff slopes if going to the true West Summit high point.
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