Dandy Mountain and Fine Weather / 丹迪山上天氣晴朗

Dandy Mountain was our last-minute plan. I had wanted to go up to Meadow Mountain at first. After yesterday’s outing, I planned to use today to recoup. But the Easter morning sunshine made it hard to stay in bed. So I started scrolling through my phone for a new hike.

Dandy Mountain at last
Dandy Mountain at last

See more trip photos here.

This trip was our second time in the Stampede Pass area. The first time I was here was almost to the day! But I want to come back and explore more once the roads are clear of snow.

Dandy Mountain at a Glance

Access: NF-5480 (Meadow Creek)
Round Trip: 4.5 miles
Elevation Range: 2520′-4360′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Driving to the Starting Point

Lost Lake Road was still under a layer of snow the last time I was here. But back then, I didn’t know there were all these potholes underneath. So they made the 1.5-mile drive to the southern end of Keechelus Lake very unpleasant.

I had suspicions that Meadow Mountain was still inaccessible. Then when we came up to the NF-5483 junction, there was the snow berm. Online reports showed that most activities take place during the high season. So the road was nowhere near being clear.

Patchy start
Patchy start

See more trip photos here.

Dandy Mountain Our Plan B

Using weak cell reception by the lake, I found the nearby Dandy Mountain just 1.5 miles away. So I parked by the snow berm east of Meadow Creek. From there, we then snowshoed southbound on the spur road.

At the powerline clearing, we left the road and continued south. We were able to move quickly through the thinner vegetation. Then the growth got denser high up right before we intersected NF-5484.

Entering the gully
Entering the gully

See more trip photos here.

Going up to Stampede Ridge

The dense forest above NF-5484 didn’t look like fun. As I looked around for a good entry, I saw a small gully at the road bend. From the bottom, the semi-open pathway seemed like a way better alternative than the road.

So for the next 400′, we went up the steep gully. Then we got onto a spur road at the top. We took a break and enjoyed our first full view of Keechelus Lake across the basin. Later, I looked for another entry back into the forest. So we walked farther west up the road.

Top of the gully
Top of the gully

See more trip photos here.

Dandy Mountain via the Road

The less brushy northwest slopes provided direct access up to the ridge. Views to the north from the snowmobile track-covered ridgetop were excellent. From there, we got on NF-5400-332. Then we walked southwest toward today’s goal: Dandy Mountain.

We walk the road for half a mile. It hugged the ridgeline to just below east of the summit. Then it only took minutes to go up to the top through the light brush. Despite the snowmobile activities today, this broad summit remained intact.

Road walk to Dandy Mountain
Road walk to Dandy Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Dandy Mountain Summit Plus Views

The only clearing on this summit faced the north side. Views to all the other directions were spotty. But through trees, I was able to see the top of Mount Rainier. It rose through thick clouds to the distant south.

Keechelus Lake was surely today’s main attraction. Just above the lake were many familiar high points above Snoqualmie Pass. Snoqualmie Mountain, Mount Thomson, Red Mountain, Kendall Peak, to name a few.

Northern panoramic view
Northern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

The 2.25-mile one-way trip meant we would make it back down faster. We followed our tracks and then went down on the spur road. Then we were back at the top of the steep gully. I took a minute to savor the last view of the lake and peaks. Then we dove back into the forest and exited.

Last view
Last view

See more trip photos here.

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