Trappers Peak + X Mountain via Thornton Lakes Trail / 特拉柏峯

  • Reading time:8 mins read

Trappers Peak and X Mountain overlook Thornton Lakes by Thornton Peak. Both are inside North Cascades National Park near Marblemount. Meanwhile, Picket Range rises near the north atop Goodell Creek.

Trappers Peak from X Mountain
Trappers Peak from X Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Trappers Peak and X Mountain at a Glance

Access: Thornton Lakes Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 400′-5966′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no pets

Thornton Lakes Road to Thornton Lakes Trailhead

Since Johannesburg Mountain was a no-go, I stuck around on Sunday to explore something else. These peaks have sat on the back burner due to their popularity. But I decided to check them out early in the day while still in the area.

I’d been up this road once visiting Damnation Peak. This time, it felt bumpier in a small car and reminded me of the drive to Twin Lakes. Only three vehicles and some mosquitoes were at the trailhead when I arrived.

Trappers Peak from X Mountain
Still misty

See more trip photos here.

Thornton Lakes Trail to Trappers Peak Fork

Overall, the forested trail was in great shape with spotty views. The lower path to Thornton Creek was mainly flat, then increased by 300′ to the 4200′ bend. Meanwhile, the transition from the old road to the trail was apparent.

Soon, the trail zigzagged up the steady incline on the southeast slopes. Despite the few muddy puddles, the path was in great shape before reaching the fork at 5000′. Then the summit was under 1000′ altitude via the south ridge.

Summit block ahead
Summit block ahead

See more trip photos here.

Trappers Peak South Ridge

The trail hugged the crest after briefly going through light brush. En route were steep slabs but manageable using tree roots. The defined path went through several ridge bumps before reaching the top.

Despite the weather looking like the two days, I stayed optimistic unless the clouds persisted. Soon, after hanging out for 20 minutes, the mists concealing the area finally retreated. Soon, the basins below were the first to appear.

Looking down the east ridge from the summit
Looking down the east ridge from the summit

See more trip photos here.

En Route to X Mountain

After playing peekaboo with the clouds for half an hour, I went to X Mountain, a mile away. In mists, I soon followed the main trail down the northwest slope. Meanwhile, many side trails were a distraction to finding the access ramp.

Soon, a steep grass ramp appeared behind trees through the light brush. I gobbled up lots of tasty blueberries en route as views expanded. Then I traversed the ridge with Trappers Peak’s impressive northwest face behind me.

Connecting ridgeline to X Mountain
Connecting ridgeline to X Mountain

See more trip photos here.

X Mountain Summit

I especially enjoyed the traverse through the massive granite slabs to X Mountain. The north side was a sheer drop into the raging creek below. At one point, I turned and saw two people moving about on the other summit.

To the west, the three Thornton Lakes nestled peacefully in the basin. Sadly, clouds had obscured the North views, including Picket Range. The top of Mount Degenhardt and McMillan Spires were sometimes visible.

Thornton Lakes panorama from X Mountain
Thornton Lakes panorama from X Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Thornton Lakes Basin

Even though views never improved, Thornton Peak and Mount Triumph did show up briefly. I left the top as it began to grow warmer and sunnier. Now that I knew my way, it wasn’t long before I reached back to Trappers Peak.

I took a snack break atop the south ridge before leaving and meeting several groups en route. More people, including backpackers, showed up back in the forest. Everyone looked to be enjoying the sunny afternoon.

Leaving Trappers Peak
Leaving Trappers Peak

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