Beaver Peak + Anthracite Peak / 海狸峯+無煤煙峯

The pup and I continued our exploration along Mountain Loop Highway after last week. I first noticed Beaver Peak and Coal Lake from Independence Peak above North Lake. The glistening water had caught my eye when I looked around for the source of the target shooting.

Beaver Peak from Anthracite Peak
Beaver Peak from Anthracite Peak

See more trip photos here.

Beaver Peak and Anthracite Peak at a Glance

Access: Coal Lake
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 3360′-5113′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

Coal Lake

As we got ready by the car, I pumped out bear spray from the can by accident. Not knowing it had splashed my hand, I, of course, then touched my face while applying sunscreen. So I spent the next half agonizing over the intense discomfort.

Coal Lake was just off the service road. So it took under one minute to get there. It’s very accessible. So I could only imagine the number of people crowding the area during the high season. But who wouldn’t want a spot by the lakeshore in beautiful weather?

Coal Lake below Beaver Peak
Coal Lake below Beaver Peak

See more trip photos here.

Going Through Brushy Terrain

We first followed a faint path around the west of the lake. Then we arrived at the southern end where the path dwindled. Soon, we began working our way up the brushy basin. We stayed left of the dry streambed mostly while finding our way.

That turned out to be a better idea. But the amount of brush and slide alder grew the higher we went. Later, we backtracked a bit and then moved closer to the middle of the drainage. From there, we followed the streambed up the basin.

Above the brush
Above the brush

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Beaver Peak North Ridge

Eventually, the rock and heather slopes replaced the brush. Then we came up to what looked like a dead-end below Beaver Peak’s north cliffs. So we followed the directions in some reports to move east. We side-stepped through steep slopes below the rock wall.

Later, we went up on the ridge at 4,700′. There we took a sharp turn south and moved toward the summit. At the same time, we went up the steep east slopes through slabs. The ridgeline was a bit rocky. But we made sure to stay away from the sheer drop on the west side.

Real summit from the false peak
Real summit from the false peak

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Beaver Peak Summit

I got a much better look at the summit from the false peak. Then we dropped down onto a notch before climbing up again to reach the top. Veggie belay seemed to be the common theme among these rocky high points in the Inner Mountain Loop area.

We ate lunch on the summit boulder. It required me to push the pup up the rocks steps first. But then it was much easier for the dog downclimb. After a one-hour break, I saw that there was still plenty of daylight. So I thought we would also check out Anthracite Peak.

Mountain Loop Highway lineup
Mountain Loop Highway lineup

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Onward to Anthracite Peak

The closer we were to Anthracite, the ridgeline became rockier. Not to mention the number of down trees we needed to bypass. But it was a lot easier to sidestep on the west slopes to go up to the 4,600′ saddle.

Two hundred feet of elevation gain on the south ridge, the terrain then flattened. Then we found ourselves up in a large meadow east of the summit. It had an open view there. Later, we went up to the top through class 3 terrain on the south side.

Next stop, Anthracite Peak
Next stop, Anthracite Peak

See more trip photos here.

Anthracite Peak Summit Plus Outro

Summit was flatter than it looked from Beaver Peak. But it was quite woodsy. I had to work my way through dense growth just to photograph Beaver Peak. Views weren’t too bad on the north side. Even Mount Pugh to the east was visible through trees.

The pup and I made it back down to Coal Lake just before dark. Then we reconnected with the trail to go around the water and out to the car.

Coal Lake awaits
Coal Lake awaits

See more trip photos here.

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