Mutton Mountain by Noble Knob on Dalles Ridge via Deep Creek / 馬頓山

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Mutton Mountain by Noble Knob on Dalles Ridge may not be famous as its neighbor. But the views from this taller peak are still comparable. Besides the dramatic sight of Mountain Rainier, Mount Adams is also visible on a clear day.

Mutton Mountain up ahead
Mutton Mountain up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Mutton Mountain at a Glance

Access: Deep Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 8.4 miles
Elevation Range: 2800′-6856′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Mutton Mountain

We had one fewer option closer to home after yesterday’s trip. Then with a late morning start, there was only a couple of choices. So I thought we would revisit this area.

During our trip to Noble Knob in the spring of 2016, we forewent Mutton Mountain. We had another late start then. Plus, the snow conditions were much less than ideal.

See more trip photos here.

Deep Creek Trailhead

There was a trail closure sign at the trailhead from this summer. Then it dawned on me that the area had undergone Norse Peak Fire. The aftermath was visibly noticeable from the get-go.

Lots of charred tree trunks strewed the path. Besides, we couldn’t go through one switchback without going around at least one down log. So it was quite tedious.

Chopsticks
Chopsticks

See more trip photos here.

In the Meadow

Finally, at 5200′, there was enough snow on the ground. So I put on snowshoes in calf-deep powder. But the tree hopping continued uphill for another 500′.

Soon we reached the meadows right before the trail junction. There we caught the sight of Mount Rainier fully emerged from the southwest. Deep Creek Trail officially ended at the fork.

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

We made a right onto Noble Knob Trail. Then we kept the same elevation for another quarter of a mile. Later the trail slowly moved its way onto Mutton Mountain’s west saddle.

From the saddle, we then scrambled the west ridge. Soon, we reached the broad summit adorned with a small cairn. There were lots of dry rocks on top because of the snowmelt.

The closeup
The closeup

See more trip photos here.

Mutton Mountain Summit

We don’t get to South Cascades often. So I could only name Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Noble Knob, and Crystal Mountain. The familiar high points north of I-90 were also visible.

The pup and I enjoyed a 45-minute break. Then we left the top afterward. By then, it was nearing sunset. But starting late does have its perks. It allowed us to catch the vibrant colors at the day’s end.

Thank you for another safe outing
Thank you for another safe outing

See more trip photos here.

On the flip side, a late start meant that we would go out to the car after dark. But that’s why we bring headlamps, no?

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