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

Sorcery Mountain via Horseshoe Lake

See more trip photos here.

The Lowdown on Sorcery Mountain

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

Dingford Creek Trail

Thanks to a recent report from NorthBen of this place. I’ve wanted to visit but never checked out the road conditions or accessibility this time of the year. There were a couple of deep ruts in the road. But I was able to get through in a low-clearance vehicle very slowly. Three cars in the lot when we arrived in the late morning.

Our first time on this trail was en route to climbing Mount Price last year. Snow and ice appeared shortly after the waterfall gully crossing. Just past Goat Creek, we followed days-old boot tracks and stayed east of the creek. Surprisingly, the hikers’ trail reappeared past the first group of brush and snow. So we followed it until it dwindled under massive down trees.

Big Snow Mountain
Big Snow Mountain

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En Route to Horseshoe Lake

Microspikes came in handy in shallow but slippery snow; I switched to snowshoes at 3600′ when postholing became annoying. It was still a bit brushy in some places because of the low snow coverage. Though, it wasn’t as irritating as it would’ve been without any.

The frozen Horseshoe Lake was very serene. It provided a direct approach over to the peninsula. As we carefully worked our way up to the west ridge, we occasionally crossed the day-old snowshoe tracks. We bypassed several rock bands via the north slopes. We managed to get above a couple of seemingly impassable outcrops through hidden ledges and veggie belay.

Big Snow Mountain
Up, close, and personal

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Sorcery Mountain Summit

From the southwest corner of the summit ridge, the real summit on the northeast end was only 100′ away. But it required us to drop 20′ and go through dense shrubs. Then we were able to climb through the boulders to reach the top. Big Snow Mountain was practically in our faces the minute we got onto the summit. It was perhaps the closest we’d been near it.

This summit was another vantage spot with views of big mountains. Plus numerous lakes nestled in the basins below. Lots of familiar high points 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.


Temperatures were in the high 50s and windless. It was warmer and calmer than in the forecast. We enjoyed an extended stay before retracing our steps back down to the lake. Then we followed our tracks and the trail back out to the car.

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