Bald Eagle Peak North Ridge by Silver Eagle Peak / 白頭鷹峯

  • Reading time:8 mins read

Bald Eagle Peak and the neighboring Silver Eagle Peak form the dramatic landscape above the famous Necklace Valley. Its distinct feature is incredibly stunning when viewed from the north. Despite the unpleasant approach, the north ridge provides the least challenging and direct way to reach the peak.

One step closer to Bald Eagle Peak
One step closer to Bald Eagle Peak

See more trip photos here.

Bald Eagle Peak at a Glance

Access: Foss River Road @ mile 5.2
Round Trip: 6.6 miles
Elevation Range: 1280′-6259′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, ice ax, crampons
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

The Preface

Yesterday, we came upon the washed-out bridge on Thunder Creek Trail. After a few attempts to ford the creek, we had no choice but to turn around. But I wanted to make the best use of the final day of the long weekend. So we sought out Bald Eagle Peak close to home.

While many scrambles involve some road walk, trail hike, or both, this peak had neither. Just after crossing the bridge over East Fork Foss River, I parked on the side of Foss River Road. Soon, the pup and I crossed the road and immediately dove into the forest.

See more trip photos here.

Bald Eagle Peak North Ridge

Puzzlr has shared a detailed report with information on the extensive north ridge. Despite sufficient data, route finding was still necessary to stay on track. Many down trees strewed the forest to 2600′, but weaving through the massive debris was still comfortable. It soon became annoying as the terrain steepened.

We entered the old forest as down trees dwindled, with vegetation a mixture of the old and the new. We’d sometimes bypass dense brush and down tree piles from the west. But for the most part, we could traverse the crest comfortably.

See more trip photos here.

Open Forest Through to 4500′ Followed by Brush

As mentioned in other reports, the brushiest section occurred between 4500′ and 5200′. It also happened to be pointier, with steep drop-offs on both sides. Despite continuously fighting through small trees, staying on the crest was more feasible.

Meanwhile, swarms of mosquitoes appeared as we tried moving 700 feet uphill through dense brush. They were so irritating that I finally put on bug spray for the first time this season. We also started seeing snow patches throughout this part.

See more trip photos here.

The 5400′ Outcrops

Views later expanded as the nearby peaks began to take shape. Until now, Silver Eagle Peak to the west has been the main attraction before the first sighting of the summit from Point 5267. Meanwhile, Mount Hinman and Mount Daniel stood atop the valley.

By then, more snow was east of the ridgeline, with the crest largely dry but rocky. In some places, moving through the east was much more manageable to avoid minor outcrops. We later came up to a cliff wall straight ahead at 5400′.

See more trip photos here.

Bald Eagle Peak Outcrops Crux

I put on crampons and a helmet before veering left into a small gully to bypass the cliffs. With enough snow on the northern slopes, we made a rising traverse into the upper basin. Then, the steep incline took us back to the ridge at 6100′.

After a short stroll along the ridge, we were at the reported outcrops below the top. I left the snowshoes before continuing with only the ice ax and microspikes. Then, I tested the exposed ledge on the west and moved slowly while the pup followed close behind.

See more trip photos here.

Bald Eagle Peak Summit Views Plus Outro

On the other side of the outcrops was more steep snow. But we bypassed most of it in a shallow moat. Ice ax and microspikes came in handy in the final 20′ up through small trees. The snow-free summit had one big snowfield on the east edge.

Bald Eagle Peak was an excellent place to see Foss River Valley. Despite low clouds, views of the hundreds of peaks in Alpine Lakes Wilderness were still grand. But big mountains like Mount Daniel, Summit Chief Mountain, and Chimney Rock had slowly faded into the mist.

Like always, it took less than half the time to backtrack on the long ridgeline. But the 700′ brushy area went by in the blink of an eye in reverse!

Thanks for another safe outing
Thanks for another safe outing

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

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

Discover more from One Hike A Week / 每週一行

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading