North Craggy Peak by Big Craggy Peak via No Dice Lake / 北崎嶇峯

  • Reading time:8 mins read

North Craggy Peak by Big Craggy Peak towers over No Dice Lake. Like the two neighbors, the peak has earned a spot on Washington State Top 200 Peaks. Moreover, the proximity to Billy Goat Trailhead and Eightmile Pass makes it an enjoyable day trip.

 North Craggy Peak from Eightmile Pass
North Craggy Peak from Eightmile Pass

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North Craggy Peak at a Glance

Access: Eightmile Creek Gate
Round Trip: 17.3 miles
Elevation Range: 3840′-8205′
Gear: helmet

GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

I remember North Craggy Peak and No Dice Lake from our trip to The Craggies. At the time, I wondered if, or why, anyone would want to climb this obscure high point. But here we were seven years later.

Like Genius, I wanted to include North Craggy Peak in two other trips but couldn’t. But this weekend’s sunny forecast had us seek out another big mountain. So we visited Pasayten Wilderness one last time this season.

Before sunrise
Before sunrise

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Unplanned Trip Changes

I called up Methow Valley Ranger Station before the trip. So the understanding was that the road was open clear to the trailhead. But I received inaccurate info from the staff and their website.

In the end, the pup and I walked the four miles to Billy Goat Trailhead. We did just that on our trip back in July also. But to make up for the unplanned lost time, we need to start walking hours before sunrise.

West view from Eightmile Pass
West view from Eightmile Pass

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No Dice Lake via Eightmile Pass

We walked Hidden Lakes Trail (#477) to Eightmile Pass, where the 2017 Diamond Creek Fire had also devastated. Then we went south toward No Dice Lake. En route, we bypassed a deep ravine from the west of the ridge knobs.

The recent snowfall and massive down trees had us move slower. Soon, the burned zone ended below the lake’s outlet as the serene lake basin adorned with larches greeted us. Meanwhile, The Craggies stared us down above the ridge.

No Dice Lake below North Craggy Peak
No Dice Lake below North Craggy Peak

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North Craggy Peak West Route

We went up the west gully scree and outcrops from the east shore. The terrain steepened from 7600′ to 8000′ before seeing the big rock with yellow markings atop the gully. Then we veered left onto the south ridge at 8100′.

A quick class 2 walk-up on the ridge soon put us on the snowy summit. Right away, the view of Big Craggy Peak’s impressive north face overtook the southern skyline. Then to the west were the peaks now under the snow since our recent visit.

Peaks forming
View on North Craggy Peak west slopes

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North Craggy Peak Summit Views

Sitting above The Craggies‘ joining ridge was the sight of McLeod Mountain. It was our season-opening trip on Memorial Day weekend. Coincidentally, it had become the center of another major wildfire in mid-August.

Some distant peaks included Robinson Mountain and Ptarmigan Peak. Places we visited over the Fourth of July, including Sheep Mountain, were in the north. The impressive Remmel Mountain didn’t look to have much snow.

Southern panoramic view
Southern panoramic view

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Outro

We spent most of our one-hour visit on the east side, dodging the constant west wind. We took our time through the steep parts on the way back, now with a dusting of snow over gravel. Then we stopped by the lake before exiting.

Later we made a beeline for Hidden Lakes Trail through the ravine. After two miles of walking and we soon at Billy Goat Trailhead. Four miles of road walk later, we were at the car with several other vehicles by the gate.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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