Crater Mountain by Jack Mountain / 靠傑克山的火山口山

Crater Mountain was our last-minute plan. We had come off Freezeout Ridge the evening before. Then we drove two hours to the west end of Pasayten Wilderness. The next morning, we pulled into the Canyon Creek Trailhead. There were over a dozen cars in the lot.

Crater Mountain ahead
Crater Mountain ahead

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Crater Mountain at a Glance

Access: Canyon Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 1880′-8128′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Jackita Ridge Trail

Jackita Ridge Trail (#738) was as steep as I remembered it from two years ago. We first crossed two bridges over Granite Creek and Canyon Creek. Then after two long switchbacks, the trail instantly went straight up the southern slopes.

The elevation eventually flattened at 5000′. Then at the junction, we made a left onto the Crater Lake Trail. We spent the next mile hiking through the sometimes brushy trail. Soon, we were up in front of Crater Lake. Sadly, there wasn’t much water in the lake after a dry summer.

Crater Mountain above Crater Lake
Crater Mountain above Crater Lake

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Going up to Crater Mountain

We hiked west on the trail. Then we went up to the southeast ridge after we roamed through the wilderness boundary. It was steep for another 400′. But eventually, the elevation became moderate at 6800′.

Afterward, the trail changed direction and went north. But at this point, only the false peak was visible from below. The real summit sat right behind it. So we continued on the path until we went around to the west of the ridgeline.

Granite Creek Valley
Granite Creek Valley

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Following the Yellow Markings

The path weaved in and out of several cliff bands. Then at 7600′, it entered a narrow, steep gully. We found lots of choss here. It was easy to go off route and go near the cliffs through this section. But glad that there were cairns to guide the way.

Soon, the yellow markings led us through several steep ledges. But the crux for the pup was the one giant step by the big yellow “x.”. Then we made it onto the south ridge past that point. A defined and rocky path soon showed up on the crest.

Wait up
Wait up

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Getting Around the False Summit

The trail allowed us to bypass the false peak from the west. Afterward, we went through a long section of the path on moderate terrain. Then we went through several short switchbacks to be on the summit.

The wildfire smoke had made its way north earlier. Then it quickly spread throughout the valleys below before we even got to the top. The remnants of an old structure was a stark reminder of this former lookout site.

The final stretch
The final stretch

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Crater Mountain Summit Plus Outro

Views to the south over Highway 20 weren’t great. But it would have been much grander if weren’t for the smoke. But in contrast, views to the north were excellent. The enormous Jack Mountain stole the show on this trip.

The day was still young. So we enjoyed an hour on top before making our way back to the parking lot.

Jack and Jerry panoramic view
Jack Mountain and Jerry Lake Basin panoramic view

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