Ugly Duckling by Mount Margaret / 靠瑪格麗特山的醜小鴨

I spent the past two days alone on Easy Ridge. Then today, the pups and I explored Ugly Duckling. It would be their final trip with me before my summer climbing escapades began!

Ugly Duckling in the mist
Ugly Duckling in the mist

See more trip photos here.

Ugly Duckling at a Glance

Access: NF-4948-120
Round Trip: 6.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3500′-5140′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Box Canyon

Seven years went past in the blink of an eye. The last time we were in the area, we climbed Hibox Mountain. Road 4948 split off from 4930 right after we drove past Kachess Campground. It’s about two-thirds way up Kachess Lake’s west shore.

Soon, the road made its way up the steep terrain. At the same time, we drove east toward the top of the Gale Creek Basin. Later, at four miles in from the campground, we reached the Road 120 junction and parked.

This way to Ugly Duckling
This way to Ugly Duckling

See more trip photos here.

Road 120 to Ugly Duckling

Clouds had moved in earlier. So the views from the road were minimal. Along the way, we heard the occasional target shooting sounds in the distance. Then we met a guy walking down the road after an overnight trip.

Before long, we were at the 4680′ hairpin turn directly below the summit. Then we followed a faint path up the rocky hill. It was to the right of the quarry. Soon, we reached the brushy slopes and scrambled.

U-ie
U-ie

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch

The closer we were to the top, the rockier it became. Shortly, we stood at the bottom of the summit. But the south route didn’t look feasible for the pups. I noticed the buttress to our right. Then we went to check out the other side.

As luck would have it. The terrain on the other side of the cliffs was more moderate. So it allowed us to climb up the final 100′. A tad rocky. But the pups said it was enjoyable.

South face
South face

See more trip photos here.

Ugly Duckling Summit Plus Swan Lake

We had zero views up top. So we couldn’t see Mount Margaret today. We stayed long enough to take our selfies. Later I looked down from the top. All but the east side of the peak had cliffs. The mist made everything up here look creepy.

I wanted to check out Swan Lake. So back at Gale Creek, we followed a hidden path and went west. It was brushy and wet in most places. Then we reached the firepit by the east shore in under half a mile.

Swan Lake
Swan Lake

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way out, we found a road past the brush. Then it dawned on me that we saw the lower part of the roadway on the way to the lake. So we made a loop to go down to the main path. From there, it was only another mile to go back to the car.

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