Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Red Mountain (Salmon La Sac)

Beautiful late fall day and good company makes for a fun scramble

  • Road rough but passable
  • We approached from the west side of the ridge via Little Joe Lake trail, which is not maintained. Up to the lake the trail was easy to follow; from the junction with the trail up to Red Mountain the trail becomes faint and covered with fallen trees, branches, leaves, etc. for a stretch. However, once you cross a small gully and the Red Mountain Trail begins ascending in earnest up to Red Mountain it becomes much easier to follow. Scrambling to the "middle summit" and "south summit" of Red Mountain is a scenic ridgewalk with occasional bushwhacking.  The forest is not all that dense though so the bushwhacking isn't that bad!

Beautiful autumn weather, clear, and cool - 35 degrees at the trailhead, 30s-40s all day with occasional winds - set the stage for a fun scramble at a relaxed pace. We hiked Little Joe Lake Trail #1330.1 to Red Mountain Trail #1330, then bushwhacked as necessary to the high points. Great views from the Red Mountain ridgeline - especially the south summit. We could see Washington's piece of the Ring of Fire: Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams were all visible. Mount Stuart also loomed large when we first reached the ridge.

We drove to the trailhead for Little Joe Lake Trail #1330.1 by way of the Cle Elum River road, the French Cabin Creek road and the Thorp Creek road. West side approach which is apparently less commonly traveled.