Buckskin Mountain in Entiat Meadows via Entiat River Trail / 柏克金山

  • Reading time:12 mins read
English English 繁體中文 繁體中文 简体中文 简体中文

Buckskin Mountain in Entiat Meadows is east of the notable Mount Fernow. It ranks #8 in North Entiat Mountains after South Spectacle Butte. Entiat River Trail is still the most direct way to the mountain despite having down trees en route.

Buckskin Mountain from Entiat River Trail
Buckskin Mountain from Entiat River Trail

See more trip photos here.

Buckskin Mountain at a Glance

Access: Entiat River Trailhead
Round Trip: 29.6 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-8124′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

Up until this trip, I wasn’t familiar with Buckskin Mountain or the Entiat Meadows. But I knew I would’ve seen it from my first Bulger peak. So after a weekend out east, we returned to Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Looking at my old photos, I’ve taken quite a few with the mountain in them. But it’s such a long way to the bottom of the peak on foot. So if it weren’t for the bucket list, I likely wouldn’t have gone near it.

Entering Glacier Peak Wilderness
Entering Glacier Peak Wilderness

See more trip photos here.

Entiat River Trail

I also didn’t know that a trail went into the meadows, where the Wolverine Fire drastically devastated the area. In turn, the wildfire had sent parts of the path under many down trees.

The pup and I began hiking early Saturday morning. Even though the weather wasn’t favorable, I was still excited to see the meadows for the first time. But I kept my fingers crossed for a better forecast.

Round and round in circles over you
Round and round in circles over you

See more trip photos here.

Hiking Through the Old Burn

A year-old report mentioned that the trail was clear of down trees to Candy Creek. Soon, it took us past Anthem Creek Trail, which we used to climb Gopher Mountain and Choral Peak last year. The path there was dusty also.

It was bone dry between Snow Brushy Creek and Aurora Creek. Soon, the view of chopstick-like trees strewing Ice Creek Valley came into view. We also had clear views of South Spectacle Butte, Freezer, and Icebox.

Ice Creek Valley
Ice Creek Valley

See more trip photos here.

Through the Down Trees

The colder morning has kept the mosquitoes at bay. But it soon became arduous after Candy Creek when we started following game tracks through down trees. But we later lost the path by the first clearing as we were too far up from the river.

Later we found the trail before the river bend as it slowly made its way west. We were now in the area that happened to be the worst of the down trees. To top it off, swarms of mosquitoes decided to come out and feast then.

The last bit of mess
The last bit of mess

See more trip photos here.

Entiat Meadows at Last

Soon, we were at the second clearing at 5100′ below Buckskin Mountain’s south face. So we set up the tent and rested for a while in the heat. Then I thought we would give the summit a try since it was still early.

I had thought about climbing the next day until the bloodthirsty mosquitoes changed my mind. My gut also told me we would make it down before dark. But as we set off to climb, I noticed the rain clouds to the west.

Entiat Meadows at last
Entiat Meadows at last

See more trip photos here.

Buckskin Mountain Climb

There were several route options on the south side. I read about an old trail going to the east ridge but never found it. So I chose a place with seemingly the least amount of brush and went straight upslope.

The scramble went smoother than expected and took less time to go above the trees. It started to drizzle at one point, so we sat under big trees and waited out the rain. Glad that it only lasted ten minutes before we started again.

Buckskin Mountain south gully
Buckskin Mountain south gully

See more trip photos here.

South Gully Direct

I considered going up to the east ridge at 6600′ as another group did before. But traversing west over the jagged ridgeline looked arduous for the pup. So instead, we went up in the snow-free south gully directly.

At one point, we went too far right, and cliffs stopped us short. Meanwhile, to avoid potential rockfalls on the steep terrain, we hugged the east of the route. Then we would also rely on heather and scree for traction.

North view from Buckskin Mountain east ridge
North view from Buckskin Mountain east ridge

See more trip photos here.

Buckskin Mountain Summit Views

We stayed in the main gully up to the east ridge at 7900′ with north views. Another 200′ of steep climbing put us on top, where I saw the rain clouds from earlier doubled in size. Soon, I felt a flash of lightning before the rumbling began.

“Holy isht, we do not need to die right now!” I thought. As the hair on my arms stood, I quickly gathered all our metal items and the dog collar. Then I stashed them on the other end of the summit, crouched under a boulder, and waited.

Spectacle Buttes to Copper Peak panoramic view
Spectacle Buttes to Copper Peak panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Through the Lightning Storm

Lightning, combined with the roar of thunder, went on for a while. Shortly, the evening light seeped through an opening in the sky as the weather turned partly sunny. But the 15-minute wait was unnerving. First time for everything!

I quickly packed up, and we made our way down. Although it didn’t look like the storm would come back soon, it was best to leave now. But going down 3000′ of scree and slick heather didn’t go as fast as planned. Still, we made it to the bottom safely. Woot!

North Star over Buckskin Mountain
North Star over Buckskin Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Entiat Meadows

After a restful night in the meadows, then early next morning, we set off for the 14-mile trek. As it grew warmer, the part between Snow Brushy Creek and Aurora Creek was scorching. The poor dog carefully avoided the trail by pushing through scrubs.

Water pools in dying streams gave quick relief as we moved. Soon, we took a long lunch by Snow Brushy Creek, where the pup got the needed break from the heat. I watched as he dipped by the log jam with no care in the world.

One last soak
One last soak

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: