Trip Report    

Hike/Scramble - Mount Aix

Gorgeous views on this hike with a bit of scrambling. A great investigatory outing for a future Nelson Ridge/Bismarck Loop.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Just a few bits of snow still remaining, with the most significant on the eastern aspect of Mount Aix (a 100’ descent on easy afternoon slushy snow).  An early start gave us comfy shade and cool temperatures to the crest of Nelson Ridge (strongly encouraged for future trips).

We ascended Mount Aix via its west ridge to give us a bit of easy scrambling (mostly just north of the ridge crest where the rock seemed less loose).  For some variety we descended its eastern aspect to reach the trail that traverses its southern aspect on our return to the cars.  Our total time was just under 7 hours on this ~12 mile/~4200’ gain outing (photos can be seen here).

For me part of this trip was to investigate a potential future loop that follows Nelson Ridge to reach Bismarck Peak (with return via the Pear Butte Trail #979):


With all the ups and downs on Nelson Ridge (more up than down when traveling N to S) this Bismarck loop is probably best done clockwise, with estimated stats of ~5500’ gain over ~16 miles.  An added benefit of this clockwise loop is its early morning shade on the Mount Aix trail, plus late afternoon shade on the Pear Butte trail:


Another motivation for this loop is to view the volcanic caldera surrounding Tumac Mountain without actually going there (known colloquially as Mosquito Heaven, due in no small part to its numerous lakes and tarns ;):