Placeholder Routes & Places


Backpack - American Ridge

High Ridge Loop in the rain shadow of Mount Rainier. Except glorious views, golden larches, elk and a rough trail in places.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 21.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,058 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,945 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-2.5 mph

Meet Friday 10AM at Chinook Pass-East parking lot on the North side.  We will caravan to the trailheads.

Phase 2 trip

Participants are excepted to carry a cloth mask, buff or bandana and to bring hand sanitizer or biodegradable soap.  Masks need to be worn when within 6' of others. Each person needs to attest that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms or been around someone that has.


Day 1 Pleasant Valley Loop TH on SR 410 to Kettle Lake, 7 miles, 2403' gain, 256' loss.

Day 2  Kettle Lake to second pond past (west of) the Mesatchee Creek Junction, 6.8 miles, 2,227' gain, 2165' loss.  There are four high points very near the trail that we can surmount if desired--point 6280 near Kettle Lake, point 6942 midway on the ridge and points 6066 and 6161 near the pond. Point 6942 has a trail and the other's are off-trail.

Day 3 The Pond to the Mesatchee Creek TH, 7.6 miles, 428' gain, 2,566' loss.

This trip is a shuttle-loop.  There is 2.3 miles between trailheads that will require sharing a very short car ride.  We will wear masks and have the windows open.

There are several considerations with a later October trip.  The hours of day light are short and the night is long. Twilight starts at 7:03pm and ends at 6:28am.  This means 11 hours, 28 minutes of light and 12 hours, 32 minutes of dark. It can also be quite cold, very likely below freezing at night if clear weather.  Furthermore, there is a high probably of rainy weather.  The weather needs to be good enough to go. Some rain or light snow showers okay.  All day rain or heavy snow--no thanks. The trip will be changed, cancelled or shortened to accommodate the conditions at hand.  Leader's permission is required.  Please in your request, let me know the overnight trips you have been on this season that show you are in proper condition. Please also acknowledge that you understand and are okay with the 12+ hours of darkness, possible cold and rough, sometimes disappearing trail. If the weather window is good, this will be an excellent trip to finish the season with. Keep your fingers crossed.


American Ridge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports