Spiraltop by Towertop and Mineral Lake in Pleasant Valley + Elbe / 螺旋頂

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Spiraltop is one of the lowland hills by Mineral Lake in Pleasant Valley. Despite its short height, the hill has over 1000′ of prominence. And with the peaks close to one another, it’s doable to visit at least two if time allows.

Spiraltop patiently awaits
Spiraltop patiently awaits

See more trip photos here.

Spiraltop at a Glance

Access: NF-74
Round Trip: 5.1 miles
Elevation Range: 1520′-2703′
Gear: microspikes
Route Info: Joanne Najdzin
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Spiraltop

It was our first time seeing this part of the South Cascades. But I’ve driven past the area many times on the way to Mount Rainier in the past. So glad to have found more potential winter outings.

Other hills around Mineral also take on a similar naming, including Doubletop, Mineral Top, Stumptop, Towertop, and Roundtop. Due to logging, most of them, if not all, have a gated entrance.

This way to Spiraltop
This way to Spiraltop

See more trip photos here.

Road Walk

As the name Spiraltop implies, the roadway spiraled its way up to the top. But I lost track of directions after the first few turns. The overall altitude gain was gradual, but the part beyond the first clearing stayed flat for a while.

We were in the dense forest the entire time. But the occasional clear-cuts gave views out to the east. It’s also the best side since it’s misty in all other directions.

Eastern valley view from the clear-cut
Eastern valley view from the clear-cut

See more trip photos here.

Spiraltop Summit

Snow showed up at 2000′ on the east ridge, and then we found continuous snow over to the west. I had brought snowshoes for the trip, but microspikes worked well in the ankle-deep powder.

Later, it snowed again as we neared the top. Sometimes clouds would break up to reveal the valley below. But on a clear day, views to the east would include the majestic Mount Rainier.

State Route 7
State Route 7

See more trip photos here.

Outro

More clouds rolled in during our break. Then the spotty views we’ve had so far had faded into the mist. Just as I enjoyed the calm, the distant target shooting instantly killed the mood.

The weather improved as we made our way down. The eastern view was still lush. But the sun was now shining down on the plains through thick clouds. Now that the sun’s out, I wish I had time to explore at least one other hill.

Eastern panoramic view
Eastern panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jefferson

    Nice!

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