John Guilford's Hikes
Squire Creek Pass on 1991-07-03
People: (including myself): Jay Wardle and Lynn
Drive to Darrington: about 50 minutes
Drive to end of road: about 20 minutes
Total drive: about 1 hour 10 minutes
Start : 2:00
Leave Pass: 5:50
Rejoin Trail: 6:30
Down : 8:00
The road in from Darrington to the trail head is longer than I remembered
(also in worse shape). Remember to bear right when the road forks.
The first part of the trail is a stretch of abandoned roadway, and, as
such, is relatively flat and even. There is no chance of following it in a
vehicle, though, as immediately after the trail head, the trail is cut by a
ravine and creek which you cross on trees that have been felled across it.
You start off under the east wall of Whitehorse Mtn., the trail roughly
follows Squire creek while gaining altitude as it progresses down the valley.
Once you leave the old roadbed, the trail sets about gradually, but
continually, gaining altitude. There are several creeks that you need to
cross as well as good views of creeks (waterfalls) on the opposite side of
the valley. Part way down the trail, there is a massive washout the has the
trail redirected downstream a bit before you cross. There isn't much of a
stream visible (it is under rocks), but the flood that caused the washout
must have been something.
A ways further on, you start crossing occasional talus fields. These are
big slopes of big rocks (up to several feet or bigger in size). While out
on these you can get good views of Whitehorse and Three Fingers.
At the back end of the valley, the trail climbs left up to the pass. We
hit snow a bit this side of the pass. Gene Obie had been up there on 6/9
and it sounds like he hit snow considerably lower. Lynn was not going to
go on due to her shoes not being waterproof. Neither Jay nor myself liked
that idea, and we persuaded her to go on. The snow was fairly firm, so we
didn't think that her feet would get too wet. The bugs were pretty
non-existent for most of the trail, until we started climbing up to the
pass. Then, they still weren't too bad, but a bit annoying if you stopped
moving for any length of time.
Once on the snow, we had difficulty following the official trail. The pass
is a big rounded affair and it seems like there were quite a few creeks
under the snow carrying of the melt water. Near the base of the peak on
the north side of the pass was quite a bit of talus. I suggested that
maybe we should cut over to that and get off the snow, which we did. We
then followed the talus up to the ridge line and part way up to the minor
peak on the north. Part of this was scrambling through brush (which didn't
bother me much, but was hard on Jay and Lynn who were wearing shorts). We
found a nice rock with a breeze to eat on. The bugs here weren't too bad,
but were somewhat annoying after a while. After eating I went on up the
ridge to the (rounded) top. There wasn't much to see, so I went back down.
Jay later went up and hiked up to the north side of the peak and got some
better views. On my way back down to the eating spot, I found some
Mountain Goat hair that a shedding goat had left on a bush - I took this
down to Lynn, as I thought she might like it.
When Jay returned from the top, we set about going back down. We decided
to followed that talus around the peak instead of venturing back out onto
the snowy pass and trying to find the trail. Coming down the talus, Lynn
stepped funny and twisted her foot. It wasn't too serious, (she walked out
fine, although a tad slower than Jay or I), but she iced her foot that
evening - by the next day it was fine. We followed the talus until it
ended in trees. At this point we had to bushwhack. We went down hill a
ways sometimes cutting across the hill to pick up a different talus or snow
gully. We ended up going down two snowfields, one creek bed, and a couple
different talus slopes before we came across the trail again. From that
point on, it was a rather uneventful hike back out.
Dead tree along trail.
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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015