Fools Day Peak by Thorp Mountain via Salmon La Sac / 愚人節峯

  • Reading time:9 mins read

Fools Day Peak by Thorp Mountain overlooks Thorp Creek in Salmon La Sac. It rests on the north end of Kachess Ridge by Red Mountain. Meanwhile, the East route via Roslyn and Cle Elum Lake gives the quickest access.

Fools Day Peak from the road
Fools Day Peak from the road

See more trip photos here.

Fools Day Peak at a Glance

Access: NF-4308
Round Trip: 4.1 miles
Elevation Range: 3200′-5203′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Road 4308

After yesterday’s trip out east, I decided to visit Fools Day Peak for sunshine. Winter activities were still underway, so I had expected to start from Salmon La Sac Road. We were last here right after the onset of the outbreak.

Luckily, the road was clear to 3200′, where I parked in the big lot. Two guys tried digging their car out of the snow ahead with bare hands and branches. Since they’d removed most slush, I left them with my shovel and continued.

Car in the slush on Road 4308
Car in the slush on Road 4308

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Starting from Road 4308

Half a mile ahead at the Road 4312 fork parked an RV. Judging by the snow around the vehicle, it became stuck as well. A girl looked out and waved but quickly looked away, so I assumed the people had found help.

There was much snow beyond that point as we turned right onto NF-4312 to the next fork. Then we took a sharp left onto NF-4312-111 to go south. Soon, I found what looked like a trail over the crest.

First view of The Louvre
First view of The Louvre

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Fools Day Peak East Ridge

I saw Fools Day Peak from the road earlier, which looked woodsy on the top. So I thought it’d be another viewless summit; oh well! But at the very least, we’d still get our exercise while being away from the crowds.

Many down trees in the lower forest forced us to stay south of the crest. But as the terrain slowly steepened, we moved back onto the ridge. Soon, I put on snowshoes at 4000′, where the snow had become slightly slushy.

Stuart Range from behind the ridge
Stuart Range from behind the ridge

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The Final Stretch

There wasn’t much need to route-find on this peak. All we needed was to follow the crest up to the top. We passed a few clearings during this, where we first viewed Skookum Peak and The Louvre. Then Stuart Range appeared higher on the slope.

The incline reduced past 4800′, where we moved more quickly in the soft snow. For the last 300′, we returned to the trees. Then the terrain steepened but widened in the final 100′. Hooray, we’d have views, after all!

Labrador Retrievers on Fools Day Peak
Labrador Retrievers on Fools Day Peak

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Fools Day Peak Summit

The forest ended abruptly, with an open space between the trees and the top. Judging from Google Earth, a road goes through here when it’s clear. Since there were several feet of snow, we steered clear of the corniced south.

We had views of Kachess Ridge, plus the top of Mount Rainier from behind the ridge. Thorp Mountain was on the west, with Stuart Range and Sasse Ridge to the east. But trees covered much of the west to see anything below.

Red Mountain and Stuart Range
Red Mountain and Stuart Range

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Outro

The trip was relatively short without the road walk. On the way down, we went slightly to the north to keep the snowshoes on. Then I took them off before returning to the road, where we shortcutted to NF-4308.

The RV now had two shovels outside, and it looked like someone had been digging earlier. The people inside continued to avoid eye contact despite my wanting to help. Then it was a .25-mile road walk before reaching the car.

One last look at Fools Day Peak
One last look at Fools Day Peak

See more trip photos here.

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