Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Emerald Ridge Loop/Westside Road

A wintry and challenging loop that visited the Tahoma Creek suspension bridge, Emerald Ridge, and the Columnar Basalt near the S. Puyallup campsite.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Varied snow conditions, from snowshoe road travel (~3000'), crusty snow on trail (~4100'), deep/schloopy wet snow over a hard layer (~4500'), and wind blown/firm surface (~5200'), this trip had it all. West side road was snow free up to Dry Falls, then intermittent past that. On our descent the west side road from Round Pass (3900') to the Tahoma Creek trail (3200') was completely snow covered and required snowshoes. Wonderland trail bridge near S. Puyallup campsite (on trail leading to Emerald Ridge), has been sprung making for an interesting problem. An expert negotiation of this bridge can be seen here (swipe 1st photo):;695FF0FA-8B78-409C-ADB1-2BD142AF68F7

Upper portions of mountain were obscured, but still great views. Did not ascend Pt 6032 due to heavily loaded steep slopes, and cracks evident in wind slab. Enjoyed lunch at our secondary destination, the high point (5960') west of the Emerald Ridge crossing. An opportunity for even more conditioning (20 miles instead of 14) was made possible by the closure of the west side road in the AM, only to encounter a car driving the road on our way out (the road had been opened during the day at some point). Total time was 12.5 hours, with 6 hours up. Photos can be seen at