Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - DeRoux Peak

Successful snow-free lollipop route to scramble DeRoux.

  • Road rough but passable
  • There are currently a  few blowdowns on the DeRoux Spur trail and a major one on the DeRoux trail between the bridge and the Spur trail junction, but none that pose a major problem to get over or around. There were only a few small patches of snow left in protected areas on the ridge and along the Middle Fork Teanaway trail. There are several places to get water along the DeRoux and Middle Fork trails. The trails are shared with horses and mountain bikes.

Our group of 5 scramblers met at 8am on the road just outside the Twentynine Pines campground. This is a convenient place to meet and no parking pass is required to park by the side of the road on the campground side (Sno-Park in winter). I had anticipated masses of campers in the area over the holiday weekend and wanted to consolidate cars for the drive to the campground. Contrary to my expectations, the area was eerily empty with many campsites available at each of the campgrounds and at the dispersed camping areas. There was ample parking at the DeRoux trailhead. We speculated that the burn ban kept campers away, or perhaps everyone was at the parade in Cle Elum that we heard about later in the day.

We left the trailhead a bit before 9am and worked our way via the DeRoux and DeRoux spur trail to the DeRoux-Koppen saddle. It was already getting hot but there was shade and a nice breeze at the saddle where we took a break. We then followed the Spur trail down towards the Middle Fork to just before the first switchback where we left the trail and did a rising bushwhacking traverse north to the ridge. We made our way towards the peak, mostly following the ridge, but dropping off the ridge at times to navigate around rocky areas. Some of our detours  were not the most efficient, but we eventually reached the peak.Photo credit: Kevin Honold

After food, drink, and summit treats we proceeded down the SW ridge to the Middle Fork Teanaway trail, which we followed back to the DeRoux-Koppen saddle to complete our loop. Although this route added ~1 mile compared to the out-and-back route everyone agreed that it was much faster and easier than returning along the ridge. Upon returning to the saddle we encountered a group of mountain bikers, the only people we saw all day. We returned to the trailhead, stopping to filter water at the creek, and arrived back at the cars at ~4pm.

Everyone did great on the trip and one student completed their graduation scramble. We enjoyed wildflowers in various spots: Shooting Stars, Scarlet Gilia, Balsamroot, Paintbrush, Columbine, and even a couple of Steer's Head. Bugs were annoying but mostly non-biting flies.

Many thanks to Louise for being my mentor, to the great group of scramblers that made this trip easy to lead, and to Kevin Honold and Louise Suhr for the photos included in this trip report.