Oval & Star Peaks

Moderate scrambles on the Sawtooth Ridge in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. Gray and Courtney Peaks are two good additions to a scramble trip to this area. They all have great views.

driving directions

Buttermilk Creek

From Twisp, drive west on Twisp River Road (Forest Road 44). Turn left on East Buttermilk Creek Road (Forest Road 43) toward Blackpine Lake Campground. Before the campground, turn right on Forest Road 500 and follow it to the West Fork Buttermilk Creek Trailhead at its end.

oval creek

From Twisp, drive west on Twisp River Road (Forest Road 44). Turn left then right onto West Buttermilk Creek Road (Forest Road 4420). Turn left onto Forest Road 080 and follow it to the Eagle Creek/Oval Creek Trailhead at its end.

approach & ascent

Oval Peak (8,795 ft)

South Ridge: Hike the West Fork Buttremilk Creek Trail No. 411 for 7.7 miles to about 7,000 ft in forest north of Fish Creek Pass. Turn right on abandoned trail (Scaffold Ridge Trail No. 436) (look for a partially cut log that blocks the trail about 15 feet from the junction). Hike for about 2 miles to a small lake with good camping (6,936 ft), just southeast of the summit. From the lake, ascend to a saddle on the South Ridge. Scramble the solid rock field on the ridge top to the summit.It's 24 miles round trip and 4,800 feet of elevation gain.

North or NE Ridges: Hike the Oval Creek Trail No. 410A and then cross-country to Duffy Lake (get there xc from Oval Creek Trail #410A). From the lake, gain either the North or Northeast Ridge and continue up to the summit.

East Ridge: From 7,100 ft on the abandoned Scaffold Ridge Trail No. 436, ascend the East Ridge directly up to the summit.

Star Peak (8,690 ft)

 Southwest Spur: Hike West Fork Buttermilk Creek Trail No. 411 for 8.7 miles to Fish Creek Pass (7,480 ft). Descend 0.6 mile past Star Lake (and good camping) to Summit Trail #1259. Turn left and hike 0.5 mile up to pass (7,400 ft) southwest of Star Peak and northeast of Baldy Mountain. From this pass, ascend the secondary southwest spur ridge of Star Peak. Traverse east around second minor ridge, then north onto main southwest spur. Scramble broken rock and talus up to the summit ridge and east up the summit pyramid. It's 22 miles round trip and 5,200 feet of elevation gain.

Star Lake Route: From Star Lake, ascend steeply south for 600 feet to a saddle on the west side of Point 7912. Scramble over or around Point 7912 and traverse onto the Southwest Spur.It's mostly scree (or snow) to saddle.

South Slope/South Ridge: There are two nicely meadowed basins on the south side, separated by a ridge. Scramble up from either basin or from the ridge.


  • If Oval Peak is done by itself, or along with Gray  Peak, it can be approached via Oval Creek with a camp at one of the Oval Lakes. 
  • If Oval is done together with Star and Courtney Peaks, the better approach is via West Fork of Buttermilk Creek with a camp at Star Lake. All of these peaks have great views.
  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 5
  • Length: 24.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,800 ft
  • 8,690 ft
  • USGS Hoodoo Peak
  • USGS Prince Creek
  • USGS Oval Peak
  • Green Trails Buttermilk Butte No. 83

Upcoming Activities

There are no activities scheduled at this location.

Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Oval Peak
  • Oval Peak/South Ridge
  • Oval & Gray Peaks
  • Star Peak
  • Oval, Star & Courtney Peaks

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