Mileage: 11 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 5100/5985 ft (AKA, a lot)
Map: Green Trails Diablo No. 48, Ross Lake No. 16
Favorite Eats After Hike: 5 B’s Bakery
As always, practice Leave No Trace. Pretty Please.
7/2/2016 I talk about this trip in my post Huckleberry Scones and the Backpacking Test. We had a great overnight to Sourdough Mountain, camping at the campsites at 5000ft before you make the push for the ridge and lookout. It took us about 2.5 hours to make it up with our packs on, the trail is one of the clearest I’ve hiked lately as far as downed trees are concerned. Nice views of the peaks and lake as you gain that elevation in a hurry. There were a few other day hikers out from the campgrounds close by.
We dropped our packs and set up camp. The sites here are small and defined in the steep slope. That is the steepest trail to a privy I can remember. It was like it’s own little hike!
After lunch, we filled one pack with the fixings for dinner and continued up to the lookout. The views were amazing. We even got to talk with a bear who didn’t really care that we were there as we waited for him to finish his lunch. We could see why the ranger station has made bear cans mandatory here.
There is still snow covering a good part of the ridge but it’s flat and didn’t seem to stop anyone at the top. We wondered around on the rocks checking out Sourdough and Ross Lake. Our salmon dinner was a tasty treat and glad to be eating it away from camp!
The trail between camp and the lookout is a bit rocky and loose, so we watched our steps on the way down and kept an eye out for the bear. No sign, thankfully.
Our night was uneventful and we woke to a grey, wet day and the sound of rain on our tents. Soooo glad we went up yesterday! We waited around a few hours for the day to clear (we had a permit for Pierce Mtn) but decided with our wet tents and no views to head back down to the car. Not all was lost, our trek down was slow and leisurely as we picked a Nalgene full of huckleberries the bear had missed.
All in all a great trip.
Directions:From Marblemount, drive SR 20 east for 20 miles. Turn left on Diablo Road and proceed 0.7 mile. Cross the Stetattle Creek bridge, follow the road right through “town” and reach the trailhead in 0.25 mile. There really isn’t a parking lot, just space along the road. You will see a cement building that used to be a pool house and an old tennis court. Although the sign for the TH is on the left of this building, you will start the trail on the right side. You will know it by the line up of improvised walking sticks!