Silver Eagle Peak by Bald Eagle Peak and West Fork Foss River / 銀鷹峯

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Silver Eagle Peak by Bald Eagle Peak rises above West Fork Foss River. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the well-known Necklace Valley. Though, limited route options over the sheer terrain have often kept climbers at bay.

Silver Eagle Peak from Point 5125
Silver Eagle Peak from Point 5125

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Silver Eagle Peak at a Glance

Access: Foss River Road @ mile 6.2
Round Trip: 6.5 miles
Elevation Range: 1580′-6241′
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Stefan
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

The Preface

I tried going up to Silver Eagle Peak in May last year. But I made the mistake of going up the jagged southeast ridgeline that ate up most of my time. Without a rope, the deep dikes had kept me from reaching the top.

My goal was to come back in the late spring and benefit from the snow in the forest. But I’ve not been able to return to the area until now. This time I brought my two partners along for the wild ride.

Crossing Bald Eagle Creek
Crossing Bald Eagle Creek

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Silver Eagle Peak Route Options

Cascade Alpine Guide has listed two ways to climb Silver Eagle Peak. Southeast ridgeline via East Fork Foss River, which looked super long. Or the northwest ridge via Trout Lake by West Fork Foss River.

The northwest ridge descriptions didn’t look doable for the pups. But since I had come up from the north ridge before, I opted to go through it again for time’s sake. It also looked more direct than any other way.

This way to Silver Eagle Peak
This way to Silver Eagle Peak

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North Ridge Route

Like before, I parked just past the stream out of Bald Eagle Lake. Then we enjoyed a reasonably flat scramble and crossed the creek to the west. Soon, the elevation picked up and stayed steady for the next 2000′.

The lower forest was at its steepest from 2400′ to 3600′. Along the way, we’d bypass outcrops and dead tree debris from the west. Later terrain eased up by the 4400′ meadow, where views expanded as well.

4400' meadow below Point 5125
4400′ meadow below Point 5125

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Point 5125

At last, we enjoyed an actual hike up to 5125. En route, we treated ourselves to the view of Bald Eagle Peak to the northeast. Some peaks above West Fork Foss River were also visible from here.

By the time we reached Point 5125, we had averaged about 2000 vertical feet per mile. It’s even steeper than the Constance Lake Trail, where I recently visited. But we’re no strangers to steep Cascade terrain.

Ridgeview of Malachite Peak
Ridgeview of Malachite Peak

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Silver Eagle Peak East Basin

Shortly, we dropped onto the south saddle at 4800′. Then we lowered slightly on the east and went just a tad north under the cliffs. From the top of the boulder gully, we dropped another 200′ to the stream we had crossed at the start.

Walking along the water, we went south through mossy terrain and boulders. Then we climbed up the grassy slope by a big snowfield. Soon, the massive scree took us up to the southeast gully entrance at 5600′.

Silver Eagle Peak east basin
Silver Eagle Peak east basin

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Southeast Gully

At this point, I still wasn’t sure whether the pups could make it. But we stayed close together and continued up past the choss. Then hiding in the back of the headwall was a dwindling snow finger. Whew.

Looking at the incline, I wouldn’t have the pups here had it been a snow-filled gully. So it was a great relief to see a series of sandy ramps through class 3 terrain. I kept my fingers crossed for the dogs.

Garfield Mountain and Upper Garfield Mountain Lake
Southeast gully entrance

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The Final Stretch

Mostly, we zigzagged our way up in the middle of the gully. Later we exited the system by moving northeast away from the cliffs. Then at 6000′, we went onto the southeast ridge via a notch on the slanted slabs. Big whew!

From the ridge, it was just a class 2 walk-up to the top. Though, we had to be mindful of the drop-offs above the east face. Along the way, I’d turn back to see the gnarly ridgeline that ended my trip last time.

The final stretch on Silver Eagle Peak
The final stretch on Silver Eagle Peak

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Silver Eagle Peak Summit Views

Glad all three of us had made it up here! Other than the descent from Point 5125, it was a steady incline from the start. So that, in turn, made the 6.5-mile roundtrip distance feel like forever.

Peaks and lakes in the Foss River Valley made up the bulk of the landscape. Many notable places included Malachite Peak, Iron Cap Mountain, La Bohn Peak, and Mount Hinman. Plus, Bald Eagle Peak was right next door.

Southeast-to-west panoramic view
Southeast-to-west panoramic view

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Outro

As with humans, I kept the pups close as we retraced our steps back through the gully. They were also good about following me through the parts with greater exposure. Glad there were no rockfalls.

Oh, the moment I dreaded–going back up to Point 5125. Though, regaining the 500′ we lost on the way down took no time. Once we went past the meadow, it was just ongoing knee work until we reached the car.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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