Painted Mountain (Red Mountain)

A scramble off the Mountain Loop Highway near the North Fork Sauk River. It's mostly a boot path, but is a strenuous 4,875 feet of elevation gain.

getting there

From Darrington drive south on the Mountain Loop Highway (Forest Road 20) for 16 miles to the North Fork Sauk River Road (Forest Road 49). Continue 7.4 miles to the Sloan Creek Campground and North Fork Sauk trailhead (2,100 ft).

approach & acent

Hike the Red Mountain Trail (signed "Painted Mountain Lookout Trail") 1 mile to the end of the maintained trail (3,100 ft). From there ascend ~70 feet switchbacking on a series of ledges that are steep rock covered with dirt and moss (roughly Class 3). From there follow the faint pathway (likely marked with pink ribbons) that follows the southwest ridge. At ~5,800 ft the path ends and there is a overlook of Ruby Lake. Ascend ~300 feet on step terrain staying on the right side of the ridge. At ~6,700 ft, continue on scree to the summit (6,975 ft).

  • Difficulty: Strenuous 4, Technical 3
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,875 ft
  • 6,975 ft
  • Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX
  • Green Trails Sloan Peak No. 111
  • USGS Sloan Peak
  • USGS Glacier Peak West
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