Ronald, Washington

Winter Hex Mountain Loop

7.8 Miles Total - 3020 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Brad Geyer

Incredible 360 degree summit views of Rainier, the entire Stuart/Enchantments range, Hinman and Daniel, plus a frozen Cle Elum Lake.

There is an existing write-up for Hex Mountain, but we created a twist on this classic by making it into a loop. I can only assume that it can also be done in the summer. Many people will ski or snowshoe up in the winter. It is a fairly dry trail in the summer. I'll go into detail on the winter loop route we took.

The trip up Hex Mountain begins across from the fire station on Salmon la Sac Road at elevation 2380'. Walk the road about 1/5th of a mile up to the logging road that explicitly says it is for logging trucks only. The road is steep and icy, but my CR-V was able to handle it when scouting the area. However, I don't recommend parking further up it because it is logging property and your car could get towed. We continued up the road 2/3 mile until getting to a spraypainted hut that says "HEY BOY'S" and started snowshoeing here. You can save yourself 1/3 mile by not taking this offshoot, since that side trail only brings you right back the to road.

Continue to hike the road until about 2 miles in (or 2.3 miles in our case) before arriving at the Hex Mountain trailhead sign. Turn right on this trail. If you haven't strapped on snowshoes by now, this would be a good time to do so. 1.7 miles of ridge hiking later, you'll reach the summit. Stop here to eat lunch or have a snack.

This is where most people would turn around and go back the way they came, but our group was feeling adventurous and decided to take the opposite ridge back to the car. This was the fun part because we were breaking trail in light powder while going downhill. Like walking through clouds! Forewarning - the ridge between the summit and false summit might have some avalanche risk on windier weeks or days with fresher snow, but that was not an issue when we were there.

Continue on this opposite ridge for about 3.7 miles and you'll make it back to the parking area. On the way, you'll have the option to follow some snowmobiling tracks and take these all the way down or to break trail elsewhere. At about 2600' elevation, you will have the option to cross the creek in the valley to reconnect with the original road that was taken on the way up, or you can continue to follow the snowmobile tracks which will exit onto Salmon La Sac Road near the fire station.

We weren't exactly going at a blistering pace, so the final total was 6 hr 40 min, 7.8 miles, 3020' cumulative elevation gain.

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Photography
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Forest
Scenic

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Stay Nearby

Ronald, Washington

Wish Poosh Campground

Ronald, Washington

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East Kachess Group Site

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Salmon La Sac

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