YDS Class 2
8 miles roundtrip
Esmeralda Peak, located in the Teanaway Region of the Cascades is a worthy destination. The Teanaway Region is located in the leeward side of the Cascades which leads to dryer or at least weather on this side than on the other side of the Cascades. Esmeralda Peak is no exception to this rule. The weather on this mountain is by far better here than it is on similar mountains on the western side of the Cascades. That being said, this peak and most others in the Teanaway Region should be avoided in very hot day due to the drier and much warmer climate that it’s western counterparts.
The mountain true summit features great views of the surrounding Teanaway Region countryside as well as great views of Mount Rainier and closeup views of Mt. Stuart. Views here are excellent of both the close in mountains and the distant mountains. To the west lies the taller Hawkins Mountain in the foreground and many distant western Cascades in the background. To the north lie the giant Mt. Stuart and Ingalls Peak. To the east lies the rest of the Icicle Range as well as Earl and Navaho Peak while to the south lies Koppen Mountain, Malcolm Mountain and De Roux Mountain.
This mountain is often overlooked by scramblers who prefer to go to Hawkins Mountain, and hikers who like to do Koppen Mountain. It doesn’t have much literature on it either. With that being said it is no surprise that most people who do go to the summit of the peak experience true solitude on this mountain. The route to the tallest summit of Esmeralda Peak begins from the De Roux Campground. Take the De Roux Creek trail roughly three miles west through the valley between Esmeralda peak and Koppen Mountain. The trail will pass a number of very beautiful waterfalls that are worthy destinations in their own right. After traveling up past two switchbacks there will be a scree field on your right. Make a right and head straight up for the peak via the YDS Class 2 1100 foot sustained scree/talus scramble to the near the summit. This is a double summit peak where the one to the west is roughly ten feet higher than the on the right. The summit log is on the west summit while many topos mark the eastern summit as the true summit. Do both as my group did because both have different views, not to mention that you have guaranteed that you made the true summit.
From via Route 970: Located between the town of Teanaway and Route 97 take Teanaway road north roughly ten miles to just past the 29 Pines camping area on your left. Once just past the 29 Pines camping area merge a left onto National Forest road 9737 and take it up roughly 10 miles all the way to the De Roux Creek Campground. This is officially 4 miles past the Beverly Park Campground. There will be a spur road on your left to the trailhead. It will be in the same area as the campground and very close to the horse stables.
Northwest Forest Pass is required here.
The De Roux Campground is good if you want to camp from the base. However you can also camp along other sections of the trail, just follow pack in pack out procedures. Koppen Mountain is relatively short and I wouldn't want to camp near the trails because the trails are traveled by horses who leave smelly reminders.
Here is a trip report about Esmeralda Peak
Here are what the weather conditions would be from nearby Cle Elum.
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