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

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: TBD
Elevation Range: 3150′-6330′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Two Mountains

So far, the pups and I have only been up to Surprise Lake and Glacier Lake. And we made both trips in the wintertime. But I doubted that we could want to climb the mountains then.

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

See more trip photos here.

Deception Creek Valley

The other way was to go in from Deception Creek Valley. But it would allow us to make better use of the dwindling daylight. Plus, avoiding the lakes would also make the trip more efficient.

The only caveat was getting to the Deception Creek Cutoff Trail. And the drive started from Foss River Road. Also, the area is generally unreachable right after the first snowfall. So going in the fall 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.

Outro

Luckily, we had plenty of time to climb both mountains. So we didn’t have to hike out in the dark.

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