Gopher Mountain + Choral Peak via Entiat River + Anthem Creek / 聖歌峯

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak are two high points in North Chelan Mountains. The peaks are in proximity of each other to climb in one trip as well. Of the route options, Entiat River Trail and Anthem Creek deem to be the most direct.

Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam
Gopher Mountain of Choral Slam

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Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak at a Glance

Choral Slam = Gopher Mountain + Choral Peak
聖歌滿貫=地鼠山+聖歌峯

Access: Entiat River Trailhead
Round Trip: 18.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-8243′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Entiat River Trail

Many wildfires in recent years had added to the Entiat River Road closure at mile 32. But luckily, the Forest Service reopened it this year. So the timing was perfect for tackling Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak.

We hiked on the excellent but dusty Entiat River Trail. Then at the first junction, we made a right onto Anthem Creek Trail (#1435). There was a ton more dust as we walked up the path.

Road to an anthem
Road to an anthem

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Anthem Creek Trail

The trail crew removed many down trees from the two-year-old wildfire. But later, the path faded under massive debris and brush from 4400′ up to 5000′. Then the path reappeared at 5000′ but with many more small logs to bypass.

Later we went downhill on Duncan Hill Trail (#1434) at the next fork, and we crossed Anthem Creek. It was the first water after we left Entiat River Trail. I was happy to see that the fire had spared this area.

Shortly at the first clearing, we came across large tree debris buried parts of the trail. Then at 6400′, we scrambled through a large rock field and steep heather. The headwall from Choral Peak’s south ridge was directly above us.

Anthem Creek Basin
Anthem Creek Basin

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Anthem Creek Basin

As we entered the lush, open basin At 7000′, a few ravens began to swirl above us. Anthem Creek quietly flowed its way through the lower grassland. I scouted out a campsite and then dropped off the overnight gear. Shortly, the pup and I went up toward the 7500′ pass at the top of the basin.

Before the trip, I couldn’t find reports on climbing Choral Slam via Anthem Creek Basin. So the initial plan was to climb Choral Peak if we couldn’t make our way down into Choral Lake Basin. Then the next day, we would climb Gopher Mountain via Choral Creek.

The north side
The north side

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Gopher Mountain Climb

But to my surprise, north of the pass was nothing more than a steep talus with rock ledges. I thought, “Hell ya!” while shifting my attention over to Gopher Mountain. Behind it was the tip of the Chelan Slam. The 300′ drop down to the lake didn’t take long.

As it turned out, going around the buttress extending down from Point 7130 was much less cumbersome. Before long, we were going up on steep scree and heather. We aimed for Gopher Mountain’s western saddle. But crossing the scree from 7200′ up to the pass was slow going.

Choral Creek Basin
Choral Creek Basin

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Gopher Mountain Summit with Some Views

Smoke inhalation from last weekend’s trip seemed to have affected my breathing. So I felt like stopping every few minutes from catching my breath. Then we made the final 400′ up to the top as the clouds moved into the area. Meanwhile, a mountain goat was watching us from above.

Soon, clouds had taken over the glimpses of views. But right before we made our way down, I saw Choral Peak from the other end of the ridge. Though, everything else was still in the mist. The scree part went by much faster because we plunge-stepped through most of it.

Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain
Choral Peak from Gopher Mountain

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Choral Peak Climb

A short break by Choral Lake, then we made our way back up the pass. The summit was just another 400′ via the east ridge. However, it steepened at 150′ below the top. So we bypassed the outcrops from the south with a bit of exposure.

There were no views here. So after signing the summit register and taking our selfies, we went back to Anthem Lake Basin. It was 15 minutes before sunset when we reached the campsite. The night temperatures dropped significantly as the wind swept through the basin. Fall had arrived.

East ridge
East ridge

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Outro

I was glad to have climbed both peaks on day one. So that left us with a relaxing exit the following day. In the morning, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast by the creek. Then we took our time to leave the basin.

It grew warmer as the day progressed. When we went back to the car past noon, it was in the high 70s.

Thanks for another safe weekend
Thanks for another safe weekend

See more trip photos here.

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