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

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Beaver Peak and Anthracite Peak stand south of Independence Peak and Bluegrass Butte. Both are also within arm’s reach west of Stillaguamish Peak. The quickest way to these high points is via Coal Lake before Independence Lake Trail.

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

The Preface

The pup and I resumed our exploration along Mountain Loop Highway after last weekend. It was in fact, our fourth time in the area since mid-August. Something about the Stillaguamish River Valley that entices me.

I first saw Beaver Peak from Independence Peak above North Lake. They were unknown to me before the trip. The glowing Coal Lake had caught my eye when I looked for the source of the target shooting.

See more trip photos here.

Coal Lake

As we readied by the car, I pumped some bear spray from the can by mistake. Not knowing it had splashed my hand, I touched my face while applying sunscreen. Then I spent the next half hour agonizing over the intense discomfort.

Coal Lake was right off the service road and took a minute to reach. So accessible that I figured the area would be bustling during the high season. But who wouldn’t want the first dibs on a spot by the beautiful lakeshore?

Coal Lake below Beaver Peak
Coal Lake below Beaver Peak

See more trip photos here.

Going Through Brushy Terrain

Shortly, we walked the faint path around the west shore. We soon reached the south end, where the trail faded. So we worked our way up the brushy basin and stayed left of the dry bed while route finding.

But the higher we were, the brush and slide alder multiplied, and we soon had lost our way. So we backtracked and then moved closer to the middle of the drainage. From there, we continued going up the dry stream bed.

Above the brush
Above the brush

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Beaver Peak North Ridge

Soon, the brush gave way to rocks and heather. Then we went up to what looked like a dead-end below Beaver Peak’s north cliffs. So we used directions in the reports and traversed east sideways through steep slopes.

We later went onto the north ridge at 4700′, taking a sharp turn south toward the summit. Shortly, the rocky ridgeline forced us to traverse the steep east through slabs. But we made sure to steer clear of the drop-offs on the west.

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

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Beaver Peak Summit Views

I got a much better view of the summit from the false peak. Then we dropped onto a notch before reaching the top shortly. Veggie belay was the common theme among these rocky high points in the Inner Mountain Loop.

We ate lunch on the summit boulder, which required me to help the pup up the rock steps first. But it was manageable for the dog to downclimb. After a one-hour break, I left to 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 Peak, the rockier the ridgeline. We also needed to bypass a vast number of down trees en route. Then it was easier to move sideways on the west slopes to reach the 4600′ saddle.

Soon, the terrain flattened after going up two hundred feet on the south ridge. Then we went into a large meadow east of the summit with an open view. Before long, we were on top through class 3 terrain on the south.

Next stop, Anthracite Peak
Next stop, Anthracite Peak

See more trip photos here.

Anthracite Peak Summit Plus Outro

The top was much flatter and woodsier than it looked from the south. So I squeezed through dense trees for a photo of Beaver Peak. North views weren’t terrible, and Mount Pugh to the east was visible through trees.

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

Coal Lake awaits
Coal Lake awaits

See more trip photos here.

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