Low Mountain by Granite Mountain via Denny Creek / 低矮山

  • Reading time:8 mins read
English English 繁體中文 繁體中文 简体中文 简体中文

Low Mountain above Denny Creek sits 200′ lower than the well-known neighbor Granite Mountain. Despite its shorter height, the peak views the two notable high points–Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak up close. Plus, without a trail, it provides excellent solitude.

The Low Mountain summit is calling
The Low Mountain summit is calling

See more trip photos here.

Low Mountain at a Glance

Access: NF-5800 gate
Round Trip: 11 miles
Elevation Range: 1880′-5400′
Gear: Microspikes, snowshoes, ice ax
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

We climbed Low Mountain seven years ago. But back then, I mistook Point 5381 for the actual summit. It wasn’t until I checked my pictures later that I remembered seeing something taller ahead.

So I double-checked my GPS track and knew we didn’t make it to the top. If we did, we likely would’ve seen Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak risky high to the north. But it’s good to be back and finish what we started.

See more trip photos here.

Road 5800

I had forgotten to check the latest road conditions. So I ended up parking under the Interstate 90 overpass by the gate. Then we spent the extra time walking 2.7 miles to the trailhead. The service road was incredibly icy.

Continuous snow began in the last half a mile before Melakwa Lake Trailhead. So I used microspikes for traction and continued to the Denny Creek crossing. When the boot tracks ended here, I switched to snowshoes.

Road walk
Road walk

See more trip photos here.

Low Mountain Climb

Soon, we took the trail on the other side and hiked to the first switchback. Then we left the path and headed west in the open Denny Lake Basin. We crossed the steep boulders under the cliffs and soon moved northwest to the upper basin at 4000′.

It took a while to reach Low Mountain’s southeast ridge at 4900′ in terrible snow. Then we had our first view of the high points above Denny Creek, including Bryant Peak, Hemlock Peak, and The Tooth. Right then, the wind started to blow.

The Low Mountain crew
The Low Mountain crew

See more trip photos here.

Low Mountain South Ridge

We continued to plow through terrible snow while avoiding the wind via the dense trees. Soon, I spotted a bit of the actual summit behind Point 5381. The trees thinned out, and views took shape as we went north through wind gusts.

Later we went up to Point 5381 for a sanity check. Sure enough, the actual summit taller by 25′ sat under a quarter of a mile away. So we dropped onto the north side and continued to fight the east wind to the top.

Ridge view
Ridge view

See more trip photos here.

Low Mountain Summit Views

We moved onto the west slopes soon as we reached the top to hide from the wind. It blasted during our visit while we savored the views by staying below the crest. It was another glorious day in the Cascades!

I remembered seeing only Granite Mountain and Silver Peak on that first trip. But today’s views went north to Big Snow Mountain and south to Mount Adams. Then dynamic duo Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak were front and center.

Northeast panoramic view
Northeast panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Our late arrival on top meant spending part of the exit in the dark. So shortly, we hurried down to Denny Lake Basin. Then we went back on the Melakwa Lake Trail right before dark.

But I wasn’t looking forward to the nearly three-mile road walk back to the car.

Outro
Outro

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: