The upper trail was covered by snowfields, so what began as a hike became a snow scramble of the southeast ridge
Kind of got off to a rough start on this one. For some reason I thought I could start from the White River Falls Campground (which is no longer maintained). The river was roaring and the no bridge was in sight. Drove up the road to the actual trailhead and worked from there. I still suggest checking out the falls from the campground. I think it has better views than the viewpoint from the regular trail on the opposite side of the river. Anyways, the section of trail along the river is relatively flat and in good condition. I ran it because it was enjoyable. The switchbacks are pretty nice and in decent shape (for Glacier Peak Wilderness standards I guess). Somewhere about halfway up the switchbacks you hit a nasty blowdown section where the trail is impassable and you must climb on the trees. Right after that you will be literally wading in shoulder high plants. Both sections were fairly short. The trail beyond that is in perfect shape, expect for the many snow patches and snowfields that exist this time of year. Bring an ice axe. Unless you are doing this in the very early morning, don't bring crampons. The snow is so soft that you will slip and slice your leg right open. The summit has beautiful views and you will likely have them to yourself up there. The summit register canister is HUGE so you cannot miss it. OH, I almost forgot to mention the bear I saw. Right before I began the switchbacks, I encountered a black bear on the trail. The second wild bear I have ever seen! Fortunately the encounter only lasted two seconds as the bear sprinted away as I would expect. Lots of other wildlife in the area like ptarmigan and toads (yes, toads). Somehow managed to do the whole thing in roughly 7 hours even with all the time I spent traversing snowfields and enjoying the summit views.
With the White River Road closed two miles from the White River TH, we biked those two miles each way (which was enjoyable with limited gain/loss). The Mount David Trail was very overgrown down low, with some areas totally covered with brushy growth and extra time/care was needed to maintain the trail route. There were numerous snow sections higher on the mountain above 6000' elevation, and we were the first tracks in those snowbanks. However, during our ascent of one of those snow slopes, we were passed by a trail runner. We saw him again at the summit, and then we passed an ascending female climber (smartly carrying an ice axe) during our descent. The added traversing of those two people helped slog a trail in the snowy sections but especially helped make the trail almost totally reappear in the lower brushy sections. The summit has great views and is worth the effort.
Switchback heaven but cool trail up on the ridge top. Worth the effort.
It's a long slog, but the trail is in great condition. Thankfully, we had some high clouds, so it didn't get too hot. This trail would be terribly hot and dry on a sunny day - definitely need to get an early start.
Spent the night in Leavenworth for an early start.
Headed up on an iffy-weather day not knowing how far we'd get. Got to within a few hundred feet of the summit, but were stopped short by a sketchy snowfield. Had lunch in the sun and then headed down, only to have the skies open up and drench us in rain for the whole hike down. 35+ fallen trees to negotiate over/under in both directions made for quite an adventure too. GPS watch recorded 13.5 miles and 5500 ft. gain/loss before running out of battery a few minutes from the bridge. Views that we saw were fantastic - definitely want to go back and get to the top on a sunny day!
Hike up was great, but ran into fog about 500 feet from the summit. Had no view - I'm sure it's nice when it's clear though.
Finally we get a sunny day in Washington and I was happy that I chose to make use of it on David. The trail is quite scenic as it snakes along the ridge between some serious obstacles and as a veiwpoint this peak is stellar. This is one I could even repeat.
Great hike!! The descent was killer on my knees, but worth the effort.
A nice hike with Maria and Bryan. Definitely not 16 miles round-trip. It might be 14 but it felt more like 12. An inch of fresh snow covered everything near the top. No views on the summit, just clouds.
A film by Bryan:
I'd been interested in David since first I saw him from the summit of Mount Fernow. The weather held until the summit which was socked in with high winds and pelting rain. Despite no views to what I assume is the more interesting north, it was a very nice climb. The trail is beautifully constructed and the views from the ridge were excellent.
My dog was bitten by a timber rattlesnake on the way down. Great peak though. Story of how we got the dog back and trip report, pictures and map at http://www.willhiteweb.com/washington_climbing/white_river/mount_david_014.htm
I solo dayhiked this peak in late August 94, had great weather, and didn't see a single other person on the trail all day. I guess 5000' of gain scares off most people! Very nice summit. I especially like the stone outhouse. At first, I mistook it for a gaint cairn.
16 miles and 5700' gain. A real slog to a great summit. I saw one person all day.
Duane, his 6'5" son Scott, and shorty me did the 16-mile round-trip on a disappointing weather day. The views from that summit would have to be fabulous, and a return trip for better photo opportunities is an absolute must. Great trail, and well worth the day!