Sorcery Mountain via Horseshoe Lake / 經馬蹄湖上巫術山

Thanks to a recent report of Sorcery Mountain from NorthBen. I have wanted to check out the mountain in the winter. But I didn’t know if the road was still open this time of the year. But it was!

Sorcery Mountain via Horseshoe Lake
Sorcery Mountain via Horseshoe Lake

See more trip photos here.

Sorcery Mountain at a Glance

Access: Dingford Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 1400′-5273′
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Dingford Creek Trail

Road conditions worsened once we left NF-5600. There were two deep ruts in the roadway. But I could still go through slowly in a low-clearance vehicle. Three cars were in the lot when we came in the late morning.

We first hiked this trail on the way to climbing Mount Price last year. There was snow and ice right after we crossed the waterfall gully. Then we left the path on the other side of Goat Creek.

Big Snow Mountain
Big Snow Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Horseshoe Lake

We followed days-old boot tracks into the forest. At the same time, we stayed east of the creek. Surprisingly, a trail appeared past the first group of brush. So we followed it until it disappeared under massive down trees.

Microspikes came in handy in light but slippery snow at first. Then I switched to snowshoes at 3600′ when postholing became annoying. It was still brushy in places because of light snow coverage. But it wasn’t as irritating as if there weren’t any.

See more trip photos here.

Sorcery Mountain West Ridge

Later, we made it up to the serene Horseshoe Lake Basin. The frozen water provided direct access to the peninsula. From there, we went right back into the forest. Soon, we worked our way up to the west ridge.

We sometimes crossed old snowshoe tracks in the trees. Then we avoided several rock bands from the north. Later, we came up to a couple of outcrops that looked impassable at first. But we got above them using hidden ledges and vegetation.

Big Snow Mountain
Up, close, and personal

See more trip photos here.

Summit Ridge

Later, we made it up on the southwest end of the summit ridge. Then the real summit was only 100′ away on the opposite side. But we had to drop 20′ and then go through dense shrubs.

Then we were able to climb through the boulders to get up on top. Big Snow Mountain was practically in our faces the minute we were on the summit. It was also the closest we were near it.

See more trip photos here.

Sorcery Mountain Summit

This summit was another vantage point with views of big mountains. Numerous lakes were nestling in the basins below. Lots of familiar peaks on the southern horizon included Mount Thomson, Red Mountain, Lundin Peak, Snoqualmie Mountain.

Plus the sight of Bryant Peak, Chair Peak, Kaleetan Peak, Mount Roosevelt, Caroline Peak, and Preacher Mountain. Oh my! Even Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak joined in the lineup on this crisp and clear day.

Familiar peaks to the south
Familiar peaks to the south

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Temperatures were in the high 50s, and it was windless. So it was warmer and calmer than the forecast. We stayed a while before using our steps to go back down to the lake. Then we followed our tracks and the trail back out to the car.

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