Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Third Burroughs & Skyscraper Traverse

A beautiful fall traverse with miles of meadow meandering and breathtaking views in all directions. Our ascent line used the ridge south of 3rd Burroughs for an interesting perspective on Glacier Basin, Steamboat Prow, and the rapidly declining Inter Glacier.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • No snow.  The Glacier Basin parking lot (46.90211 N, 121.64217 W) was near capacity.  Lots of folks on the summits of 3rd/2nd Burroughs and the trail between.  Encountered goats w/kids multiple times on the ridge runs, but they kept a respectful distance.  Streams were still running in Berkeley Park and the basin SE of 3rd Burroughs:


Left the cars a bit after 7AM.  After a couple hours of trail hiking we departed the Glacier Basin-Burroughs Mountain connector trail  at ~6400’ for an incredible stroll through gorgeous meadows:


We’ve used the basin SE of 3rd Burroughs on prior trips, and the vantage from Point 7135 nicely summarizes the various lines:


… it’s also a great spot to survey the upper portion of Glacier Basin:



If you look closely at the talus/scree slope immediately below St. Elmo Pass you can see the remnants of a road.  It once connected the Upper Camp of the Mount Rainier Mining Company with a tunnel (their Stronghold No. 1 claim, note the tunnel, rail tracks, and reddish tailings just below the entrance, you can read about the mining history here):


(By Leaf Petersen)

Once you reach the crest of the ridge south of 3rd Burroughs the complexities of the Winthrop Glacier come into view:


… as well as the straightforward ridge run leading to its summit:


The summit of 3rd Burroughs is a popular spot where you can unexpectedly encounter friends:


(By Julianne Flowers)

From 3rd Burroughs our afternoon was spent on the cross country traverse to Skyscraper Mountain and the subsequent Wonderland Trail hike back to the cars:


A great end of summer/fall trip of ~4800’ gain over ~14 miles.  Our total time was 9 hours, with ~4 hours to 3rd Burroughs, ~2 hours from there to Skyscaper, and ~3 hours back to the cars.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.