Sasse Mountain & Howson Peak

In winter scramble one or both of these peaks in the Cle Elum River and Salmon La Sac area. Consider summiting Not-So-Sasse Peak on the way.

getting there

Take Exit 80 off of I-90 and drive north on Bullfrog Road. Turn right onto SR-903 (Salmon La Sac Road) at the round-about and drive through Roslyn. Continue 12 miles to the French  Cabin Creek Sno-Park just past the Cle Elum River Campground (2,300 ft).

As of February 2022, the parking area along Salmon La Sac road by the Cle Elum River Campground has been designated a temporary non-motorized Sno-Park permit. Please check the Washington State Sno-Parks page for up-to-date information about parking requirements.

approach & ascent

sasse mountain (5,730 ft)

Sasse Mountain is gentle enough that there are multiple scramble routes to the summit in winter. All of them start and end at the Sno-Park. A favorite ascent route follows the trail to where it crosses Howson Creek. Instead of crossing the creek turn southeast and follow the ridge to Point 5159. From there, run the ridge in a counter-clockwise arc to Howson Peak (aka Point 5350) and on to Sasse Mountain if the cornices allow it.

Howson Peak (5,468 ft)

Start on the abandoned Howson Creek Trail heading out of the flat to the east.  Follow it until it heads around into the valley of Howson Creek, then ascend open forest to Point 5159, descend to the saddle to the east, and continue up to Howson Peak.

Not-So-Sasse Peak (5,581 ft)

Start on the abandoned Howson Creek Trail heading out of the flat to the east. Follow it until it heads into the valley of Howson Creek, cross the creek, and ascend the open forest slopes northeast to the start of a ridge at 5,000 ft. Follow this ridge ~0.5 mile to the summit of Not-so-Sasse Peak. From here consider continuing on to Sasse Mountain or Howson Peak.

descent

sasse mountain

A favorite winter descent route heads west to Point 5335 and then mostly west until you pick up the trail near where it crosses Howson Creek. Another option is to descend by way of the logging roads slightly farther north.

howson peak

Return by reversing the ascent route.

  • Difficulty: Winter Scramble
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,500 ft
  • 5,730 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
  • USGS Cle Elum Lake
Activities

Upcoming Activities

Winter Scramble - Sasse Mountain & Howson Peak

Scrambling Trip
Classic winter scramble in the central cascades. Weather and conditions allowing we will do Howson
Difficulty: Winter Scramble
Sat, Jan 28, 2023
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
7 participants
Registration opens Jan 9
Seattle Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

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.

  • Sasse Mountain
  • Howson Peak
  • Not-So-Sasse Peak
  • Not-So-Sasse Peak & Sasse Mountain
  • Not-So-Sasse Peak & Howson Peak
  • Not-So-Sasse Peak, Sasse Mountain & Howson Peak
Resources

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