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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Excelsior Peak

Excelsior Peak/High Divide is wonderful - problem is getting there.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The proposed Plan A for this trip was to begin at Welcome Pass trailhead, hike to Excelsior Peak trailhead, and ferry back. However, Welcome Pass proved to be completely impassable  only 800 yds in even for my AWD. Due to the closure of the Canyon Creek Road to Damfino Lakes, the only alternative was the Excelsior Peak trail, just off the highway. This trail gets a bad rep because it is shared with horses, but the first 3 miles (of 4.5) were actually fairly pleasant and well graded, very reminiscent of Mount Si. No water on this trail after mile 1.5. Several parties coming down, including horses and wranglers were hornet stung, so we were forewarned.  However, we donned our raingear when approaching the nest sites  we were alerted to and avoided  them. Good reminder for leaders to include some treatment in first aid kits (I carry "Stingkill" which works great for immediate relief).



Excelsior Peak is an easy walkup with views into Canada as well as Larrabee, Tomyhoi and of course Baker and Shuksan to the south. Although we hiked a bit less than two miles of the HIgh Divide, one could easily see why it would be a magnificent, easy hike to Welcome Pass )and even beyond to Yellow Aster Butte in the open country). Flowers were almost completely gone - peak bloom was probably a month ago, bu the diversity was apparent.  Lots of ripe blueberries as well as bear scat.

I think we may have spotted a flowing stream below Excelsior, otherwise no water nearby. There is a privy at some wonderful campsites near the peak. The preferable route here would be from Damfino Lakes - I will keep an eye out for the road status next year since this is really a beautifularea with meadows galore.

Time to Excelsior Peak from trailhead - 3 hrs up, 2.5 hrs down, total 8.5.Hornets eluded!