Luna Peak 8311 by Mount Fury in Picket Range via Access Creek / 露娜峯

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Luna Peak by Mount Fury is the tallest in the Picket Range. This outlier of Northern Pickets above Access Creek boasts views to the rest of the rugged ridgelines. Then over eight miles away in the Chilliwacks lies its nearest higher neighbor Mox Peaks.

Luna Peak above Access Creek Basin
Luna Peak above Access Creek Basin

See more trip photos here.

Luna Peak at a Glance

Access: Ross Dam Trailhead
Round Trip: 43.6 miles
Elevation Range: 1600′-8311′
Gear: helmet, crampons, ice ax
GPS Track: available

June 25-27, 2016

Day 1 – Saturday, June 25
Water taxi – Ross Dam Trailhead to Big Beaver Campground
Big Beaver Trail to Access Creek Basin

Day 2 – Sunday, June 26
Luna Peak

Day 3 – Monday, June 27
Access Creek Basin to Big Beaver Trail
Water taxi – Big Beaver Campground to Ross Dam Trailhead
Exit


Day 1

Water taxi + Big Beaver Trail + Access Creek Basin

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

The Preface on Luna Peak

Luna Peak was a spur-of-the-moment plan as I couldn’t access my other goals. But it ended up being the biggest highlight of the season. The trip also gave me my first glimpse into the famous Picket Range.

We slept in the car to catch the water taxi early the next day. The other option would’ve been hiking to Big Beaver Campground. But I wasn’t keen on adding 14 more miles of walking to the climb.

ET phone Luna Peak
ET phone Luna Peak

See more trip photos here.

Big Beaver Trail

Besides a handful of down trees en route, Big Beaver Trail was in excellent shape but sweltering. I’d sometimes stop to marvel at the sheer size of the tall timbers. We later took a lunch break at Luna Camp.

Shortly past the camp, I spotted a junior bear roaming the trail. It seemed unaware of our presence as it hunted for food. But it hurried into the bushes after I started chanting and beating the poles.

Luna Camp
Luna Camp

See more trip photos here.

Fording Big Beaver Creek

More mosquitoes showed up after leaving the trail and swimming in the brush to Big Beaver Creek. We paced along the shore over massive devils club and giant skunk cabbage. But I couldn’t find a decent spot to cross the water.

Meanwhile, I looked for the reported log jam as it would’ve been ideal for crossing there. So we went farther north and forded the water at waist level. It was unnerving, but the pup seemed to enjoy it.

Big Beaver Creek crossing
Big Beaver Creek crossing

See more trip photos here.

Accessing Access Creek Basin

We scrambled downstream Access Creek’s adjacent north ridgeline from the other side. Then we fumbled in the brush a while before seeing a faint path. So we followed it for a while before the massive down trees took over.

We followed the GPS track down to a tee and later crossed Access Creek at 3900′. So glad we didn’t walk to the end of the path. Otherwise, we would’ve been in the arms of the nasty alder swath.

The usual type 2 approach
The usual type 2 approach

See more trip photos here.

Luna Peak Above Access Basin

The basin came into view after crossing the creek. Then we saw Luna Peak towering above the valley for the first time. Soon, we scrambled one mile to camp in continuous snow while following some cairns.

As luck would have it, a flat-top boulder was smack in the middle of the basin. It was a perfect spot as our home for the next two nights. Then I quickly set up camp and made dinner before turning in.

Home for the next two nights
Home for the next two nights

See more trip photos here.


Day 2

Luna Peak

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

En Route to Luna Pass

We spent much time in the steep gully up to the southeast ridge the following day. Then we made a rising traverse through the broad southwest basin to Luna Pass. Soon, we spotted bears tracks south of the pass over and down the north side.

Going up southwest ridge to the false peak was pretty direct. It was class 2 terrain at the most with some scree. But when I saw the actual summit from the top, I took a minute to let everything sink in.

Luna Peak false summit
Luna Peak false summit

See more trip photos here.

Luna Peak Summit Views of Picket Range

The pup didn’t care for the exposure and decided to stay put. Shortly, I looked for a feasible way to go onto the ledge on the south side. Then the rest of the traverse was direct, though airy. Glad to see the few cairns that helped guide the way.

The giant boulders on the summit felt as though they’d topple over. So I built an anchor around one solid rock and anchored in myself. Then I took photos while straddling to feel more secure.

The Picket Range lineup
The Picket Range lineup

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Luna Peak

Luna Peak hands down the vantage point to see the rest of the Picket Range. After an hour on top, I carefully traversed to the false peak to reunite with the pup. The dog wagged the tail like I had been away for days.

We later saw more bear tracks on Luna Pass that went into the south basin. Unsure if the animal would return soon, we quickly made our exit. En route to camp, we made several stops for photos and to soak in the views.

Luna Peak's dreams
Luna Peak’s dreams

See more trip photos here.


Day 3

Exit

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

The Hasty Exit

Going out of Access Creek was just as painful on our last morning. But we made a better time back to Beaver Creek. I managed to find the log jam half a mile downstream from where we had crossed the creek.

Back on Big Beaver Trail, we hiked as fast as possible to Big Beaver Campground. Even so, we were 10 minutes late for the boat pick-up. But glad that the boat was still around when we made it to shore.

Beaver Creek log crossing
Beaver Creek log crossing

See more trip photos here.

Back to Highway 20

The driver had no other appointments today and wasn’t hurry to leave. So he and his grandson hung out and waited by the bay. He was gracious enough to let the pup cool off in the lake before leaving.

Shortly, the driver dropped us off at the dock. Then it was a one-mile uphill hike dragging ourselves back to the trailhead. That part sure was the icing on the cake at the end of a long trip.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

Overview > Day 1 > Day 2 > Day 3

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. aravind ramaswamy narayan

    Aren’t dogs not allowed in national parks?. I’m sure Luna peak is in the North Cascades National Park.

    1. onehikeaweek

      You’re correct! Thanks for stopping by the site; happy climbing!

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