Gardner Mountain + North Gardner Mountain via Gardner Meadows / 加德納山

  • Reading time:7 mins read

Gardner Mountain and North Gardner Mountain above Gardner Meadows are the highest points in the Gardner Range. Both peaks are visible from virtually anywhere in the North Cascades. The closeness of the two also makes it possible to climb in one trip.

Kodak moment on North Gardner Mountain
Kodak moment on North Gardner Mountain

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Gardner Mountain at a Glance

Gardner Slam = Gardner Mountain + North Gardner Mountain

Access: Wolf Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 2920′-8956′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

The Preface on Gardner Mountain

Last weekend, I went up a few more Teanaway peaks. Then this week, the pups and I visited Gardner Mountain and North Gardner Mountain in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. My goal was to make the trip before the snow came.

We were just here two weeks ago, climbing Reynolds Peak and Abernathy Peak. Despite the exhausting day trips, I had enjoyed the views atop both places thoroughly. But it might’ve been a bit much for the pups.

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Wolf Creek Trail

It’s our final backpacking trip before the fall. So we came to tackle these two famous mountains out by Winthrop, WA. I was grateful for the gorgeous weather during the entire trip.

We went through many down trees in the lower trail on the way to camp. But despite the obstacles, we managed to entertain ourselves along the way. It was surprising to be the only group here this weekend.

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En Route to Gardner Meadows

Later from the trail, I spotted two bear cubs down by the river. But glad that the pups didn’t see them as I quickly put a leash on dogs and continued. Eek, it was our second bear sighting in the Cascades.

Despite a later afternoon start, we reached Gardner Meadows at dusk. But by then, it was too dark to check out the surroundings to explore some. So we went to bed right after dinner.

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Garnder Mountain Climb

We woke up early the following day and prepared for a long day ahead. I had looked at the Summit Routes book before the trip. And it mentioned that these two peaks were pretty straightforward.

Just as the book noted, we had no issues going up Gardner Mountain. The weather was so glorious that we took a long break on top to savor the views. Other than Abernathy Peak, I didn’t recognize most peaks here.

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North Gardner Mountain Climb

Later we walked down the joining ridge to our second goal of the day–North Gardner. Along the way, we bypassed Point 8487 without problems. Then the final stretch up to the top seemed to have taken forever.

I kept looking over to Gardner Mountain, and it looked so much shorter from here. Other than Black Peak, I couldn’t name any of the high points. Nonetheless, we continued to enjoy the gorgeous views.

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The climb and the long ridge traverse had worn out the dogs. Plus, the black pup wasn’t happy about having to carry his pack on the way back. So I held it part of the way.

Our other wildlife sighting was the group of nine mountain goats. We noticed them as we came down one of the gullies below the ridge. But they quickly moved away the minute they saw us.

So long, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. We will be back next year!

See more trip photos here.

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