Hogsback from the Pacific Crest Trail
If this mountain had 11 more feet of prominence there would already be a page on this summit. Of course if this mountain was at Snoqualmie Pass instead of White Pass it would have lines of people going up it and an established boot path to the top. But of course it only has 1989 feet of prominence and is at White Pass so despite thousands of people coming within 400 feet of the summit via the Pacific Crest Trail few ever summit this excellent mountain.
Excellent shot by Dean in June conditions
For those who don't it is their loss. This is an excellent summit with far ranging views of the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Ives Peak, Old Snowy, and of course the mighty Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. Views here are 360 degrees and if the fog does end up covering some of these peaks, even the closeup views of this mountain onto itself is well worthwhile to visit. Though this mountain potentially can be climbed year round with US 12 being a highly maintained road all year round it is easiest to summit during summertime when the Pacific Crest Trail rise gradually to the summit coming well with 400 feet of the summit.
Typical southern views from Hogback Mountain
In winter you might have to contend with the ski resort with is on most of the up on the north side of the mountain. According to Redwic many crosscountry skiers do climb this ridge in the winter and with the grade being fairly easy from the base trailhead it might make for a good snowshoe/ snowclimb destination. Springtime would be a good time to climb this mountain with the eastern side is an open bowl which can either make for good snow climbing. From what I have gathered in past report this is also a good spring climb destination, when the ski resort has just closed yet there is still enough snow for a good snow climb, which is probably best in late May or June. Promenient SP member Dean took a number of great pictures of his trip back in June of 2007.
Typical northern views from Hogback Mountain
Wildflowers along the trail
The route up here is fairly long in distance (9-10 miles roundtrip)(according to "Washington's South Cascades Volcanic Landscapes" this is actually 7.5 miles one way though on a map this looks and feels much shorter) of very easy in elevation gain (2500). This is because of the Pacific Crest Trail which begins at the White Pass Parking area and slowly rises to the east of Pigtail Peak and continues it's steady rise to the east base of Hogback Mountain. Along the way it pass Ginette Lake at 2 mile, goes passed the intersection of the Twin Peaks trail and continues just feet to the east of the ski area.
First rock to welcome to this specific ridge
The Pacific Crest Trail then goes just to the west of a prominent rock and subpeak offering the first of many great views. Once it traverses passed that rock it take a slight dip and traverse east of the Hogback Mountain. It should be note that once you are here there are no bootpaths that I spotted in order to reach the true summit of Hogback Mountain.
The route we took up the mountain
From there look for the gully to the northeast of the true summit and either you can take the gully or the ridge all of the way to the summit. This section here is low YDS Class 2 off trail with unexposed scrambling to the summit. Once on the summit enjoy the views of the region. You will probably be wondering the same thing I once in that how could this mountain not have that much popularity.
VIA WHITE PASS: Take Route 12 all the way to White Pass. Roughly a half mile east of White Pass you will see Pacific Crest Trail Parking on your right hand side. This is about a mile east of the ski area.
Northwest Forest Pass required.
Backcountry Camping is allowed with a number of areas such as Lake Ginette 2 miles from the trailhead and just above White Pass Ski Area 4 miles up the Pacific Crest Trail.
External Links Peakbagger Page on Hogback Mountain
Excellent NWHikers Trip Report by Summitpost Member Dean
Winter Conditions at White Pass