Beauty Peak by Robinson Mountain in Pasayten Wilderness / 麗人峯

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Beauty Peak sits in the shadow of its famous neighbor Robinson Mountain. But at the same time, it beholds views of many of Washington State’s highest peaks above Eureka Creek. Moreover, the south route offers a direct way to the seldom-visited high point.

Waving goodbye to Beauty Peak
Waving goodbye to Beauty Peak

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Beauty Peak at a Glance

Access: Robinson Creek Trail
Round Trip: 12.5 miles
Elevation Range: 2520′-7935′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

North Cascades Highway

It was a quiet drive with little Friday evening traffic. After Marblemount, there wasn’t another car until after Washington Pass. Perhaps the strong smell of the fires has turned away most people.

Later it turned foggy just as I passed two motorbikers before Rainy Pass. Then by the time I drove by Liberty Bell Mountain, visibility had dipped to zero. So I pulled off to the side and waited out the mist.

Robinson Creek Trail sign
Robinson Creek Trail sign

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Robinson Creek Trail

We haven’t been on this trail since 2011. But the place continues to hold special memories for the yellow pup and me. Together with the late black lab, we had made our Pasayten Wilderness debut here.

It rained until the crack of dawn. So we were walking through damp vegetation. En route, we hiked past two people plus their two dogs. Then at mile 2.5, we reached the bridge over Beauty Creek.

This way to Beauty Peak
This way to Beauty Peak

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Beauty Creek Trail

Nothing here looked familiar. But as we hiked a bit after crossing the creek, I realized we had missed the trail turnoff. So we backtracked and found the hidden path just feet west of the bridge.

Switchbacks had offset the initial steep 500′ of altitude. Then higher up, the trail leveled off a bit, but the incline persisted. At mile 1.5 from the fork, we passed the turnoff to Robinson Mountain and continued.

A cloudy day in the valley
A cloudy day in the valley

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Beauty Creek Basin

The trail took us back through the forest before it ended at a fire pit. I thought it was odd that the path would stop so abruptly. But we continued anyway and walked into a sea of down trees.

Soon, we crossed the creek at 5400′ to avoid the mess. Then we stayed near the shore in the path of the least resistance. Before long, we were up by the avalanche debris in the meadow with a cairn that pointed to nowhere.

Robinson Mountain towering above the basin
Robinson Mountain towering above the basin

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Beauty Peak South Route

Beauty Creek Trail has long been under the rubble, so I didn’t bother looking for it. We moved along the edge of the forest below a talus field. Then at 6000′, we went into one of the many gullies.

My goal was to go into the gully just east of the summit. But after crossing a couple more ravines, we stayed on a minor ridge. So we could avoid most scree by going up through the grassy paths.

Beauty Peak south gully
Beauty Peak south gully

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The Final Stretch

We later bypassed cliffs at 7200′ from the east. Then we continued on the ridge to 7600′. There we traversed below the ridgeline and crossed the final gully.

Up until now, the route was more direct than I had expected. Other than the usual choss, the climbing wasn’t difficult for the pups either. Soon, we were on the broad summit.

Heading into the void
Heading into the void

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Beauty Peak Summit Views

We’ve been in the clouds for the entire climb. So imagine my relief when I saw the open view to the north. Though, to the south, clouds remained on Robinson Mountain.

Most notable peaks by Eureka Creek were visible except Mount Lago, Mount Carru, and Monument Peak. I saw Devils Peak, Wildcat Mountain, and Mount Rolo along the west, even as clouds increased.

Eureka Creek lineup panoramic view
Eureka Creek lineup panoramic view

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Leaving Beauty Peak

My main goal for the trip was to see Robinson Mountain across the basin. Even after all this time, I’m still in awe of its sheer size. So we waited another half hour for the clouds to shift.

I had a window of opportunity to capture the mountain’s stunning north side. But more clouds had rolled in at the tail end of our one-hour visit. So that was our cue to leave Beauty Peak.

Robinson Mountain panoramic view
Robinson Mountain panoramic view

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Back to Robinson Creek Valley

We retraced our steps and avoided as much scree as possible. The cliffs at 7200′ were trickier to bypass in reverse. Later we stayed above the forest to dodge the debris in the meadow.

Down on the steep terrain, we checked out the waterfall off the trail for a bit. Later we slept in the car to hike the next day again. But in the morning, I scratched the idea as I listened to the pups snore.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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Washington Pass Lookout

On the way home, we stopped by the lookout over Washington Pass. I’ve driven past it a hundred times. But I haven’t checked it out because it’s always busy.

The overlook had terrific views of Liberty Bell Mountain, Kangaroo Ridge, and Silver Star Mountain of Vasiliki Ridge. So it made sense why tourists would make it their stopover.

Early Winters Spires and Liberty Bell Mountain
Early Winters Spires and Liberty Bell Mountain

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