Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - 5,050 Pass from Dosewallips

Winter scramble of 5050 pass and Vahalla Peak.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The Docewallip river road is drivable by any car but there are some potholes on gravel section (about 3-4 miles) to the road closure and parking.  One of our party drove a new BMW sedan and had no issues with the road.


Our group met at the Brinnon General Store in the town of Brinnon on hwy 101 a quarter mile south of the Docewallip  river road at 8:30 am.  From there we drove to the trailhead, which actually is a permanent road washout/closure 1/4 mile of road walk from the 5050 pass trailhead.   This is a fairly wide point in the road and could easily handle 12-15 cars either at the end of the road or several wide spots 20-50 yards before the closure.  There is no need for any trailhead parking permits.

The trail was signed and in good shape but quickly lived up to its reputation for being very steep (those of us that have done Eldorado felt it was a little less steep that the lower section of the climbers trail for that approach to give it perspective).  

We hit snow at 2000' but didn't actually lose the trail until closer to 4500'.  snowshoes were needed starting at 3500'.  

300-400' below the pass we lost the trail and accidentally gained the ridge 1/4 mile before the actual 5050 pass.  In hind sight we went right around a large cliff that we should have traversed under and then ascended to the pass.  Both are doable, just ours was a bit steeper than it needed to be and we had to drop 50-60' going to the pass. 

Although conditions had degraded from sunny at the start of the trip to snowing and windy by the time we reached the pass we elected to continue to the summit of Vahalla, following a party of 3 that had done this route a number of times in the past.  The summit itself was somewhat airy but very doable as a snowshoe ascent.  The other group told us about all the great views this summit has but due to the gusty snow storm at the time we had to just take their word for it.

Time to Summit was 4.5 hours.  Time from summit to cars was 2.5 . Elevation gain to the top of Vahalla was approximately 4900'.