Jumbo Mountain by Whitehorse Mountain via Squire Creek Trail / 巨山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Jumbo Mountain by Whitehorse Mountain and High Squire towers above Mountain Loop Highway in Darrington, WA. Despite being shorter than the close neighbors, views atop are comparable. Of the different routes, Squire Creek Trail is the fastest and the least challenging.

Jumbo Mountain summit ahead
Jumbo Mountain summit ahead

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain at a Glance

Access: Squire Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 6.8 miles
Elevation Range: 1120′-5840′
Gear: helmet, ice ax, snowshoes
GPS Track: available

Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Squire Creek Trail

In the morning, we walked one mile south on Squire Creek Trail. Then I spent some time finding the cairn that marked the entrance. Then right before the small duct, I picked a spot and entered the woods. But we later found the faint trail at 2200′ with flagging.

We went through down trees and dense brush en route. But we could still follow the trail to 2900′ before it disappeared. From there, we moved to the next minor rib via a small gully. Then route finding started to become annoying.

The one-mile road walk
The one-mile road walk

See more trip photos here.

Through the West Gullies

We later went into a broad gully at 3300′, but not until we went through the alder first. We skipped the ravine mentioned a few reports. Instead, I found a steep spot to attain the neighboring rib. Then we climbed up through the forest.

At 4300′, we came out of the trees. At last, we had a clear view of the route. Snow began right on the other side of the rock ledges, so I put on crampons there and continued. There wasn’t any slush to posthole yet.

The 3300' broad gully
The 3300′ broad gully

See more trip photos here.

West Snowfield Basin

The narrow gully at 4450′ had steep snow that led to the basin above. It was a bit nerve-racking, as I could hear the stream underneath. So I tested every step and moved up slowly, with the pups staying close behind.

Before long, we reached the lower snowfield at 4700′. Then I switched to snowshoes and used them for the rest of the climb. By now, the sun had been out for a while. So the higher we went, the more slush we found.

The narrow gully
The narrow gully

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain Real Summit

I mistook the south summit for the middle one, so we went up toward the corniced notch. But soon, I knew we had gone off route as I looked to the actual high point on our left. So we moved northeast to the north-middle peak saddle.

Out of nowhere, I saw old snowshoe tracks on the slopes. Whew, glad to know that we were back on track! The snow ramp that led to the pass felt steeper than the gully below. But without the fast-running stream beneath us!

The final stretch below Jumbo Mountain
The final stretch below Jumbo Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Jumbo Mountain Summit Views

Going to the top was tricky for the pups while avoiding snow on the north. The tall rocks had made it challenging for them, but I could still guide them. The summit was narrower than I expected, so we didn’t move around too much.

Holy cow! What incredible views of all the familiar places! Of course, I say that about just any peak on a gorgeous day. The main interests here were Whitehorse Mountain and Three Fingers. But I have yet to climb either one.

West view
West view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

We safely made our way down to the forest ll. Then from 2200′ to 1600′, I found the old trail we had missed earlier. Glad that we could go that far and avoid the brush. Soon, we did a bit of scrambling and went back on Squire Creek Trail.

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