Sunrise Peak & Juniper Ridge


Backpack - Sunrise Peak & Juniper Ridge

Four day/three night ridge walk in the south Washington Cascades. Expect exceptional views, amazing flowers and multiple easy peaks to climb. A challenging one-way shuttle trip with many up and downs. lovely camps and possible early season snow crossings. Leader Permission Required.

  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 36.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 10,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,000 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0

Meet at  11 AM at the finishing TH--The Juniper Ridge TH

Getting There

From Randle, travel south on Highway 131 (Forest Roads 23 and 25). After a mile, veer left onto Forest Road 23 and proceed for for 8.1 miles to the junction of Forest Road 28. Continue on Forest Road 28 for 1 mile and turn left on Forest Road 29. Follow Forest Road 29 for 4.1 miles and turn left on Forest Road 2904. Follow Forest Road 2904 for 4.2 miles and arrive at the trail on the right at Lambert Saddle.

We will leave one or more cars here and proceed to the Elk Pass TH in one or two cars.  The trip will start at Elk Pass.  To get to Elk Pass, one proceed back north the way you came until the  FS RD 23 and 25 split.  Here take FS RD 25 south  about 23 miles until Elk Pass/Boundary TH.

NW Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass required at both THs.

Juniper Ridge is rated one of the best ridge walks in all of Washington State.  With good weather, we should have outstanding views of surrounding ridges, peaks and valleys as well as upfront views of three volcanoes: Rainier, Adams and St. Helens and a more distant glimpse of Mt. Hood.  The flowers are noted to be usually nice here as well.  Do, though, expect mosquitos--I recommend bringing a headnet and your favorite spray. Additionally, there will likely be patches of snow on the north facing slopes at several places along the ridge.  Microspikes and trekking poles are required to ensure we will have adequate traction if needed for safe travel.  While we are on ridges most of the time, the trails undulates a lot and has significant elevation gain--averaging almost 3000' each day.  A additional factor on this trip is that these trails are shared with motorcycles.  We may see/hear them on the trails and will definitely see their handy work on the tread and the rounding effect they have on the trails.  These rounded trails are often more difficult to hike on then the typical flat profile ones. 

Here is the Gaia route:

This is a Leader Permission Only trip.  In requesting permission please answer/respond to the following four questions:

1)  The trip  is four days long and has significant elevation gain, over 10,000' total and on the crux day (day 2) we will gain about 3,500' and travel around 12 miles.  What trips have you done in the last two years that demonstrate that you can do this sort of trip?  Please list the trip, date, mileage and gain.

2) The trip is relatively early in the backpacking season.  What have you been doing this Spring that demonstrates that you are in excellent conditioning now or will be to do this challenging trip in June?

3)  This trip will likely have patches of snow, possibly on steep-ish slopes in places.  Are you okay with this?  Do you have experience with traveling on snow?  Will you bring microspikes and trekking poles?

4)  On the ridges we will be hiking along (on a trail) are multiple short peaks that we will be climbing.  About half have trails to the top and others only have boot paths or no path.  All of these peak summits look relatively easy and short distances--and all of these bonus adventures will be optional side trips.  Are you okay with climbing some or all of these,  or it not are you okay/comfortable with waiting at the trail junction for those wanting to check these peaks out?

Thanks, I hope you can join me.  Rob


Sunrise Peak & Juniper 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, Ursack 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
  • Microspikes
  • Two trekking poles
Trip Reports