Tucquala Peak + Paddy-Go-South via North Scatter Creek Trail / 塔夸拉峯

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Tucquala Peak and Paddy-Go-South are two of the many ridge bumps above Cle Elum River Valley. Like the other places here, both summits offer spectacular views of Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Best of all, the high points are close together to climb in one trip.

Tucquala Peak high above
Tucquala Peak high above

See more trip photos here.

Tucquala Peak and Paddy-Go-South at a Glance

Access: North Scatter Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 9 miles
Elevation Range: 3320′-6821′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface on Tucquala Peak

In hindsight, we could’ve climbed Tucquala Peak on the way back from Nursery Peak. But given the long day, I likely wasn’t thinking about adding another peak. So here we were two years later.

The trip allowed us to revisit the area before the second snowfall. The forecast had a clear and sunny day ahead.

See more trip photos here.

North Scatter Creek Trail

Our 6 AM start time didn’t happen–big surprise! The sun was shining when we walked up the steep hillside. Snow later showed up at 4200′. Then I put on snowshoes in another 1500′ when walking in boots became arduous.

The snow had long buried the upper trail. So I followed the animal trails over the slight dent. The fact that wildlife knows to follow the path fascinates me. Later the tracks dwindled, then we went straight up to Tucquala Peak’s southwest basin.

Tucquala Peak's southwest basin
Tucquala Peak’s southwest basin

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Tucquala Peak Summit Plus Views

There was lots of snow from the first snowfall. So we went up via the south slopes and bypassed the west saddle altogether. The final stretch to the top was on dry rocks with exposure. But I couldn’t help but look into the steep northeast gully.

The views were excellent. There was a thin haze over the horizon, but most peaks were still visible. The Cradle and Nursery Peak sat front and center across the valley. Other prominent high points nearby included Mount Daniel and Hawkins Mountain.

The Cradle from Tucquala Peak
The Cradle from Tucquala Peak

See more trip photos here.

Em Route to Paddy-Go-South

Later we dropped onto the west ridge. Then we beelined via Tucquala West’s north side to its northeast saddle. We found ice along the way, but the snowshoes did the job. The direct route got us close to Paddy-Go-South in no time.

It would’ve been ideal to have more snow on the south side of Paddy-Go-South. Soon, we went through the talus field up the southwest ridge. From the ridgeline, we first moved to the northwest. Then it was an easy walk-up to the top.

Talus traverse
Talus traverse

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Paddy-Go-South Summit Views

Views here were similar to those of Tucquala Peak but with a bonus–Sprite Lake! We went by the lake six years earlier but didn’t get to see it. While figuring out our exit strategy, I decided to visit the lake first.

We enjoyed another hour of Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Then we dropped onto the northwest ridge notch. There was more snow to reach the lake quickly. We then took a break with The Cradle in the backdrop.

Northeast panoramic view
Northeast panoramic view

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Exiting via Paddy-Go-Easy Pass

I spotted days-old boot tracks by the shore. So we followed them up to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass. From there, we exited via the trail. Later I changed into microspikes down by the snow line.

There were a handful of down trees in the lower forest. Soon, we reached the bottom at dusk. Then we hiked another two miles on the road back to the car by Scatter Creek.

Paddy-Go-Easy Pass
Paddy-Go-Easy Pass

See more trip photos here.

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