Poch Peak by Mount Rainier / 靠瑞尼爾山的帕奇峯

Poch Peak sits outside the Mount Rainier National Park‘s northwestern border above the Evans Creek ORV Park. It isn’t an impressive peak by any means. But it shares an extensive network of trails with the nearby high points.

Poch Peak in the flesh
Poch Peak in the flesh

See more trip photos here.

Poch Peak at a Glance

Access: NF-7920 (Evans Creek)
Round Trip: 8.4 miles
Elevation Range: 1840′-5075′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
Route Info: flatsqwerl
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Taking the Longer Route

It’s the fourth and final day of our Thanksgiving week hiking extravaganza! Yesterday we had a day full of sunshine. So today, we continued searching for the light in the South Cascades.

The Mowich Lake Road wasn’t an option at this time of year. So we took the other viable way off Carbon River Road. But going in from the north meant more elevation and no sun.

Road 7920
Road 7920

See more trip photos here.

Poch Peak North Ridge

I parked east of Tolmie creek before the old roadbed. Then we hiked for one mile and crossed the creek at 2500′. Later we reached the north ridge in another half a mile.

We left the road and climbed 150′ in the open forest. Then we were in dense vegetation for the next 200′ on soft soil. It was also the steepest part of the climb. Later it flattened past 3000′.

West Poch Peak from the ridge
West Poch Peak from the ridge

See more trip photos here.

Hiking the Old Roads

We went out onto the upper part of Road 7920 at 3500′. There I saw an old trailhead sign. But the road hasn’t been in use in years. Later we turned left onto Road 610 at the next fork. Then we bypassed Point 3881 from the east.

Shortly, we turned onto Road 120. Then we left the path at 4000′ as it veered west. From there, we stayed on the crest on what looked like a trail. I put on snowshoes in the trees. Later we went up to the west of Point 4898.

Ridge traverse
Ridge traverse

See more trip photos here.

The North Saddle

I didn’t know where the trail would lead. So we scrambled up to Point 4898 and traversed the ridge through dense forest. Soon, I got the first view of Poch Peak. Mount Rainer was right behind it.

The saddle was out in the clearing. And it looked like snowmobiles had been up here before the recent snowfalls. So we continued south on Road 591 and crossed Road 7930.

In the clearing below Poch Peak
In the clearing below Poch Peak

See more trip photos here.

Poch Peak Summit

Soon, we made the final stretch up the west ridge. Meanwhile, we heard sounds of the off-road vehicles coming from the south. Then we continued through the semi-open forest to reach the top.

We sat atop the rocks and looked northwest. Point 4898 now sat smack in the middle of the landscape. Then behind us were tall trees blocking what would’ve been the best view–Mount Rainier.

Northerwestern panoramic view
Northerwestern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

We had our first taste of sunshine down on the saddle. But we couldn’t fully enjoy the heat on top because of the forest. So I wanted to go back down to the pass and get some heat.

On the way down, we bypassed Point 4898 from the west using Road 519. But in hindsight, we could have hiked it earlier. It’s the same trail we were on to the west of the high point.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

Afterward, we retraced our steps and went back to the car as the sky darkened.

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