Truly the best thing about a sunny autumn day is to set out on an outstanding destination with two of your best friends. Captivated by the sun, Sheila, John and I set out for Washington State's newest federal wilderness area, "The Wild Sky".
After traveling six miles on a graveled road, we arrived at the remote trail head. The trail starts out quiet steep, but 0.75 the grade eases and the real trail begins. (Don't give up, for the outstanding views on this trail are so worth it.) You will see summits surrounding Spire Mountain and El Capitan and the Beckler River Valley somewhere into about a mile and half. Along Johnson Ridge, climbing resumes steeply. At the two mile mark, you will see Sunrise MT at 5050 ft. and here is where the vertical trail begins.
East of the meadow that embraces the Cascade Crest, you will see snowy Glacier Peak and then north is the Monti Cristo Peak, impressive wall of rock.
After reaching Sunrise Mountain viewing, you will continue onto Scorpion Mountain. The trail steeply drops at vertical 300 ft with a narrow saddle and continue onto the high altitude meadows (3.5).
Reaching Scorpion Summit you will view these Summits:
EAST-Poet Ridge, Grizzly, McCausland, The Chiwaukums.
SOUTH-Captain Point, Fernow, Daniel, Hinman, Cathedral Rock.
NORTH-Evergreen, Sloan, Glacier Peak, Benchmark, Fortune.
WEST-Baring, Spire, Troublesome
The three of us started at 10:30 am and returned back to our car by 5:15 pm
In the first meadow after seeing Sunrise Mountain, we saw medium size bear prints and evidence of them "laying" in the grassy area. Otherwise we only saw a multitude of hawks encircling below Becker River Valley. Unfortunately, there is no water source.(Though below Scorpion Mountain there is a lake.)
I truly was momentarily paralyzed after seeing the panoramic views on Scorpion Mountain. The relentless climb from get-go didn't discourage us, because we had read about those views from another hiker. I am glad I did.
I hope more hikers come check this place out...it is worth your time.
Round Trip 9.0 miles
Elevation gain 2650 ft.
Highest Point 5540 ft.
Benchmark MT No.144
Green Trails Monti Cristo No. 143