Sunrise Peak and Cheops on Sawtooth Ridge via Boiling Lake / 基奧普斯

  • Reading time:13 mins read

Sunrise Peak and Cheops on Sawtooth Ridge stand among several of Washington State’s highest peaks. The former perches above Sunrise Lake, while the latter overlooks Boiling Lake, a popular backpacker’s stopover.

Ridge traverse to Sunrise Peak
Ridge traverse to Sunrise Peak

See more trip photos here.

For Sunrise Peak 8144 in the Pasayten Wilderness, see this post.

Sunrise Peak and Cheops at a Glance

Access: Crater Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 27.3 miles
Elevation Range: 4760′-8270′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Crater Creek Trail

We continued our way south in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness after last week. It’s been five years since we came here to climb the Sawtooth Slam peaks. But this time, my goals were Sunrise Peak and Cheops.

The mixed-use Crater Creek Trail continued to attract outdoor enthusiasts. The scenic subalpine forest route boasted terrific mountain views as well. Then there’s the grand Columbia River Basin behind us to the east.

Seven miles to Horsehead Pass
Seven miles to Horsehead Pass

See more trip photos here.

Eagle Lakes Trail

While on the trail, I chatted with two mountain bikers riding the Golden Lakes Loop. One of them had started going after the Bulger List this season. Shortly, we met a dirt biker on the ledge overlooking Lower Eagle Lake.

As we neared Horsehead Pass, the same rider returned, but with a flat tire this time. Then we chatted a bit about his trip. Afterward, he continued down the rocky path on one decent wheel. Mad skills!

Rest stop
Rest stop with Martin Peak

See more trip photos here.

Boiling Lake

Memories soon surfaced as we first looked at Boiling Lake and Cheops from Horsehead Pass. During our first trip here, we camped down by the lake. There we met ranger James by chance.

A fantastic photographer and a dog lover, James greeted us warmly by our tent. He has since taken on assignments in various places. But afterward, we stayed in contact through social media.

Boiling Lake east view
Boiling Lake east view

See more trip photos here.

Cheops Climb

The pup and I took a lunch break by the outlet. Afterward, we walked through the larch basin to Cheops’ 7500′ west saddle. The view of Prince Creek Basin to the south looked incredibly lush in the afternoon sun.

The craggy ridge turned out quite manageable for us both. Then at 7800′, we went up the northwest side filled with lots of choss and scree. Even the big rocks throughout there felt very unstable.

Summit awaits
Summit awaits

See more trip photos here.

Cheops Summit Views

We carefully moved northeast below the cliffs to a notch south of the summit. Then a short, rocky scramble soon put us up at the top. I looked around and noticed our goals from the past two weekends.

Many of Washington’s highest peaks were all in plain sight. There weren’t too many bugs up here like there were on Cheops. But a handful of flies was enough to annoy the heck out of the pup.

Prince Creek Basin
Prince Creek Basin

See more trip photos here.

Sunrise Peak via Deadmans Pass

We scrambled the gentle south slopes into the basin down on the saddle. Then we went onto Summit Trail west of Martin Peak at 6800′. The open terrain with minimal altitude changes made for a leisurely hike.

Soon, we crossed the expansive meadows with vibrant flowers to the top of East Fork Prince Creek. Then we dragged our tired bodies up to Deadmans Pass at 7400′.

Heading southbound on the Summit Trail
Summit Trail southbound

See more trip photos here.

Sunrise Peak Climb

The aptly named Summer Blossom Trail was very dry. Then just before Sunrise Lake Trail junction, we scrambled uphill and found a hidden basin. The tiny stream from a small snow patch provided the only water source. So we set up camp here.

Since we still had a few hours until sunset, we soon left for Sunrise Peak, less than a mile away. From Sunrise Pass, the crest covered in dense shrubs and steep drop-offs didn’t look enticing. So we stayed south of the ridgeline for most of the traverse.

Sunrise Peak in the background
Sunrise Peak in the background

See more trip photos here.

Sunrise Peak Summit Views

We reached the top half an hour before sunset. Views were more decent to the north; many familiar peaks were to the west. Several high points along the ridge looked equally tall, so we walked across them to be sure.

The beautiful Sunrise Lake in the large basin remained unfazed by the occasional loud chirping of marmots. The sun slowly crept toward the horizon. Soon, we left the top and traversed down the ridge.

North Navarre Peak and South Navarre Peak
North Navarre Peak and South Navarre Peak

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Sunrise Peak

Visibility of the ridgeline was better going the other way, so it took no time to reach the pass. Shortly, we walked into camp as daylight dwindled. It was another starry night with frogs croaking throughout the basin.

Horsethief Basin sky
Horsethief Basin sky

See more trip photos here.

Sunrise Lake Below Sunrise Peak

We packed and went back up to the pass overlooking Sunrise Lake the following day. The faded path had lots of loose rocks. But cairns guided us down the east slopes to the water.

A few campers hung out by the lake as we crossed the outlet. We chatted a bit before going into the vibrant Merchants Basin. Soon, we went on Foggy Dew Trail in the open meadow, aiming for Cooney Pass.

Sunrise Lake and Sunrise Peak
Sunrise Lake and Sunrise Peak

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Merchants Basin

Later we went over the pass and reached the glistening Cooney Lake on the north side. Then we stopped for a quick break there. Soon, we hiked out on Martin Lake Trail.

Right before we re-entered the forest below Martin Peak, we met a group of seven Golden Lakes Loop bikers. Everyone stopped us wanting to greet the pup. Then they were the last people we saw on this trip.

Merchants Basin
Merchants Basin

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: