Spark Plug Mountain + Surprise Mountain / 火星塞山+驚喜山

  • Reading time:5 mins read

I have been eyeing Spark Plug Mountain and Surprise Mountain for a couple of years. But I haven’t had the opportunity until now. So it was great to check the two mountains off the list.

Kodak moment on Spark Plug Mountain
Kodak moment on Spark Plug Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Spark Plug Mountain and Surprise Mountain at a Glance

Access: Deception Creek Cut-Off Trailhead
Round Trip: 14 miles
Elevation Range: 3150′-6330′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Two Mountains

So far, the pups and I have only been to Surprise Lake and Glacier Lake. And we made both trips in the wintertime. But I knew we wouldn’t want to climb the mountains then.

Through research, I found that we could potentially climb the mountains in a day. But it would require us to come a different way. Who knew? So I wanted to give the route a try.

See more trip photos here.

Deception Creek Valley

Another way was to go in from Deception Creek Valley. Then it would let us make better use of the shortening daylight. Plus, bypassing the lakes would help to speed up the trip.

But the caveat was getting to the Deception Creek Cutoff Trail from Foss River Road. Also, the area is generally unreachable right after the first snowfall. So the timing was perfect.

See more trip photos here.

Pacific Crest Trail

We first made the half-mile walk down the cut-off trail. Then we made a right onto the Deception Creek Trail. The entire path was in excellent condition because of heavy use.

Later we took the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at the Deception Lakes junction. Then we hiked up to Surprise Pass between the two mountains. The goal was to climb Spark Plug Mountain first. Then we’d get Surprise Mountain if time allowed.

See more trip photos here.

Spark Plug Mountain Summit

The views were better than expected. So I saw the two lakes and nearby peaks from the top of Spark Plug Mountain. But nothing to see on Surprise Mountain. We were in clouds the entire time.

On the way to Surprise Mountain, we saw two hikers going up to Spark Plug Mountain. I also saw many varieties of mushrooms for the first time. A mushroom hunter’s heaven, indeed!

See more trip photos here.


Luckily, we had enough daylight to climb both mountains. So we didn’t have to hike out in the dark.

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