Hike Johnson Ridge to Scorpion Mountain

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Hike through unprotected forest into the Wild Sky and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness areas on quite possibly the best trail in the Skykomish River valley for flowered meadows, alpine views, and ridge hiking.  

From Skykomish, WA drive east on SR 2 roughly 1 mile and turn left on the Beckler River Road, FS RD 65. Drive north on this road approximately 7 miles taking a sharp right at the pavement's end just before crossing the Rapid River.  You are now on FS RD 6520.  Continue on this road bearing left at an unmarked junction.  Drive another 4 miles beyond the junction to the road's end and the trailhead (elev 3700 ft).  Several great views are available along this road, but don't spend all of your time setting along the roadside, the views are much better from the wilderness areas.

The trail starts rather steeply on an old logging road turned trail. Several good peaks at what awaits can be had along this section and the wildflowers bloom along the trail as soon as you leave the parking area.  At about 0.75 mile the grade eases and the road/trail becomes simply a trail.  Keep your eyes peeled for berries and mushrooms as you continue through the forest. A steep section of trail precedes the trail coming around the summit of Sunrise Mountain (elev 5050 ft) approximately 2 miles from the trail head.  Views of Glacier and Monte Cristo peaks can be had from this vantage as well as mountain meadows.

The trail descend steeply from here before once again climbing steeply to a narrow ridge.  At 3.5 miles enter a wildflower filled meadow.  The trail slowly gains a little more elevation as it proceeds just below the summit of Scorpion peak. Continue along the trail to an unmarked junction.  Left will take you up to the summit (elev 5540 ft) and 360 degree views, right will take you through several large meadows and down to a lovely little lake, Joan Lake.  Campsites and fishing are available at the lake.

Pack List

  • Camera.  On a clear day the views don't get much better.
  • Water.  You won't find any water along this trail until the lake.
  • Map.  If identifying peaks is your thing you can see quite a few from the summit of Scorpion.
  • 10 essentials
  • Services are available in the town of Skykomish.
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Activities:

Fishing, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2650 Feet

Features:

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by Thadd Zehnder

If I'm not outside I'm somewhere wishing I were

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