End of Bismarck Trail
Along Pear Butte Trail
Bismarck Peak is the high peak which anchors the southern terminus of Nelson Ridge, the high north-south trending ridge southeast of Bumping Lake. Along with Mount Aix
, these two peaks constitute the highest peaks between Mt. Rainier and Yakima. This area is dry as it lies east of the Cascade Crest. Consequently, this area melts out earlier and offers good early season access while the Western slopes of the Cascades are still snowbound. Furthermore, your chances of finding good weather here are much better than west of the crest. In mid-summer, many may find this area to be a bit too hot. Consequently, one might want to save this trip for a cool or cloudy day.
The majority of the trip to Bismarck lies along good trail. Even though the Green Trail maps show a trail to the summit, this is incorrect. The final 1200 feet will be a steep scree scramble to an airy summit. The views of Mt. Rainier to the Northeast, the Goat Rocks Wilderness
to the Southwest, and Mount Aix
to the North are outstanding.
Drive SR-410 East over Chinook Pass, going 19 miles and turning right onto the Bumping Lake Road. Go 11 miles to a junction, and take the left fork, Road #20080, 1.5 miles and just before a bridge over Copper Creek, turn left up a steep road signed "Mount Aix
Trail." Go just beyond the steep side road to the Mount Aix
Trail and find the trailhead to the Pear Butte Trail #979. Elevation: 3700 feet.
Travel 4.7 miles along Trail #979, then turn left (east) at the Bismarck Peak Trail #983. The Trail is about 3.5 miles to the base of the summit at 6400 feet. Leave the trail and scramble up loose rock and dirt (Class 2) up the Southwest Ridge of Bismarck. This is a long day. Fifteen miles round-trip, and about 4000 feet elevation gain with lots of ups and downs.
Nelson Ridge and Bismarck Peak lie within the William O. Douglas Wilderness area. A Northwest Trail Pass ($30/year) is required to park at the trailhead. An interagency pass, good at all US National Parks ($80/years) will also be valid at the trailhead. Self-service wilderness permits can be found at the trailhead. There are no other restrictions.
This area lies within the William O. Douglas Wilderness and is administered by the Wenatchee National Forest. For contact information:
Naches Ranger District
510 Highway 12
Naches, WA 98937
TOPO! Software Image
The entire trip lies along dry ridge crest with no sources of water. This is a dry area of the Cascades. There will be no water for camping.