Little Peak by Goat Peak and Hicks Butte near Snoqualmie Pass / 小山峯

  • Reading time:8 mins read

Little Peak sits near the notable Goat Peak and Hicks Butte in East Snoqualmie Pass. Meanwhile, it’s a stone’s throw away from Cle Elum Ridge and the famous Teanaway Backcountry. The quickest way to the peak is via the City of Nelson.

Little Peak summit view
Little Peak summit view

See more trip photos here.

Little Peak at a Glance

Access: NF-4517
Round Trip: 5.2 miles
Elevation Range: 2380′-3440′
Gear: microspikes
Route Info: Scott Rice
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

Today we stayed close to home after yesterday’s trip. We tried visiting Little Peak three weeks ago but turned around because of snow and ice. Then the “private property” signs were too distracting to focus on finding the starting point.

Most roads here either lead to private property or nowhere. We tried the Granite Creek sign after mistakenly going by Goat Creek Ranch north of Road 4517. Then it led us to the powerline and ended by the snow berm with a “dead end” post.

A lovely day
A lovely day

See more trip photos here.

Road 4517

The dead-end marked the national forest boundary. So we were to enter into the public land. But wow. All those neighborhood signs could be so confusing! It felt like I was deciphering parking signs stacked on top of one another in downtown Seattle.

I put on microspikes on the other side of the snowbank. Then we walked toward the peak on firm snow with ski tracks. It looked like the best way would be to stay on the road. Then it would take us through up to the ridgeline.

The crossroads
The crossroads

See more trip photos here.

Little Peak Southeast Ridge

But going this way, we’d go back into private property at .25 mile past Little Creek. The road would then make a long switchback for a mile, which didn’t seem fun to walk the entire stretch. Plus, we would still be on private property.

So to stay within the national forest, we left the road after crossing the creek. From there, we went through the light brush to the base of the ridge. Then we went up 250′ through snow patches and rocks to reach the upper roadway.

Boulevard of broken dreams
Boulevard of broken dreams

See more trip photos here.

The Ridge Walk

All we needed to do was walk the road up to the 3100′ saddle from the ridge. Then we’d then take the ridge trail up to the top. Everything seemed fine until I saw a private property sign on a tree.

So I double-checked my map and realized that we were by the national forest boundary. Ugh, so frustrating! But we continued for the next half a mile to go back on the public land for good.

The final stretch on Little Peak
The final stretch on Little Peak

See more trip photos here.

Little Peak Summit Views

I could’ve used snowshoes in the soft snow for efficiency in hindsight. But I felt too lazy to put them on in the shallow snow. Soon, we were on the woodsy summit of Little Peak. But the tall timbers were in the way of our views.

We stayed for ten minutes. Then we walked back to the eastern edge of the ridge. There was an opening we passed on the way here. The 180-degree view there wasn’t too shabby. I could even see Kachess Lake from there.

Kachess Lake in the distance
Kachess Lake in the distance

See more trip photos here.

Outro

After a long break, we made our way back to the road and retraced our steps to the car. And yes, we went through the private property, aka trespassed, for the second time. Oopsy!

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: