Mirror Mountain + Peak 7738 via Entiat River Trail + Emerald Park / 反映山

  • Reading time:10 mins read

Mirror Mountain and Peak 7738 are two obscure peaks above Railroad Creek by Lake Chelan. A joining ridge connects the former with one of Washington State’s highest peaksPinnacle Mountain. Meanwhile, the latter stands above the lush Emerald Park.

Seeing Mirror Mountain from Mirror Pass
Seeing Mirror Mountain from Mirror Pass

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Mirror Mountain and Peak 7738 at a Glance

Access: Entiat River Trailhead
Round Trip: 38 miles
Elevation Range: 3160′-7942′
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Jim Brisbine (trailcatjim.com)
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance
Lost Items: sunglasses, dog pack

The Preface on Mirror mountain and Peak 7738

Until this trip, I had no memory of seeing either peak from our trip two years ago. But as it turned out, I had captured one photo of Mirror Mountain in the background. Then I took another one with Peak 7738 as we traversed the talus basin.

There are two common ways to reach Emerald park. The ferry via Lake Chelan would’ve been shorter though less manageable with two dogs. Also, the new Delta variant had made it unsafe to be in a tight space with other riders.

A late Friday night start
A late Friday night start

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Entiat River Trail

So we settled on the other option through the dusty Entiat River Trail. It’s a long way to Milham Pass, so I decided to front-load some mileage for the pups. With that, we started walking at 9:30 Friday night.

Hiking in the dark usually seems to make the time go by fast. Before long, we were loading up water at Snow Brushy Creek. Then we reached the trail fork in another mile and slept just off the path.

The Mirror Mountain crew
The Mirror Mountain crew

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Snow Brushy Trail

In the morning, we made our way into Snow Brushy Creek Basin. The trail crew has cleared more debris from Wolverine Fire, and they’ve added a couple of detours as well. Meanwhile, I noticed boot tracks that looked like baby feet!

The path was clear up to 6000′ before down trees took over again. During that, we saw a lone tent before the junction. Then we scrambled a bit and found the trail to Milham Pass.

New cut logs on Snow Brushy Trail
New cut logs on Snow Brushy Trail

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Milhem Pass to Mirror Mountain

Our early start didn’t go as planned. But by the time we reached Milham Pass at 6663′, it was past noon. Then we set up camp and dillydallied some more before we went down the other side.

Somehow I assumed we could shortcut above the west of Emerald Park Creek. So at 6400′, we left the trail and continued north over the talus. But it didn’t take long before we encountered cliffs and poor rocks.

North view from Milham Pass
North view from Milham Pass

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Through Emerald Park

So I decided that it would be wise for us to drop another 1000′ into Emerald Park. The area was literally as green as it looked from afar. But we found no water in the meadow, and Emerald Creek was bone dry.

Jim had mentioned that his group never found Mirror Lake Trail when they reached the park. So we tried our luck around the campsites and didn’t see a path either. But we did find a small stream not far west.

Looking back in Emerald Park
Looking back in Emerald Park

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Mirror Pass to Mirror Mountain

Later we went uphill in the clearing directly below Mirror Pass. As luck would have it, we found parts of a trail right before going back into the trees. Hooray! Soon, we were on a defined path.

The path was steep with short, brushy switchbacks. Then as we neared the pass, the incline decreased as the trail bends lengthened. From the 6700′ saddle, we saw Mirror Lake and the towering Mirror Mountain.

Meadow below Mirror Pass
Meadow below Mirror Pass

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The Final Stretch on Mirror Mountain

I didn’t feel like dropping to the bottom of the lake basin. So we hiked a short way down to the 6450′ meadow with dramatic ridgeline views overhead. Then at 6200′, we traversed west through a few rock fields.

Later a short scramble through trees put us in the last talus field below Mirror Mountain’s south saddle. We bypassed the rocks and reached the crest at 7300′. From there, it felt like a long walk on the moderate ridgeline up to the top.

The final stretch on Mirror Mountain
The final stretch on Mirror Mountain

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Mirror Mountain Summit Views

Despite a timbered ridge, the top was clear of trees with views abound. Pinnacle Mountain, of course, was today’s centerpiece. Meanwhile, our next goal, Peak 7738, was on the other side of Mirror Lake.

There were views of the familiar peaks—Flora Mountian, Bonanza Peak, Bearcat Ridge, Finney Peak, and others. Some of the terrains looked even more dramatic from here, and I also saw parts of Lake Chelan.

Southern panoramic view
Southern panoramic view

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Back to Milhem Pass

Since we had dillydallied throughout the day, there wasn’t enough time to fit in Peak 7738. I wish I had prepared for us to stay the night on Mirror Pass. So we wouldn’t have to make the trek back here again.

We made it back to Milhem Pass an hour and a half after sunset. Then I debated whether to go back to Mirror Pass and climb Peak 7738 the next day. But for now, we needed our beauty sleep.

Leaving Mirror Mountain
Leaving Mirror Mountain

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Day Two on Milhem Pass

We had an exhausting day yesterday. Despite having set the clock for 5 AM, I certainly did not get up at that time. The pups, however, weren’t as worn out as I had expected and were wide awake when I opened my eyes.

Seeing that they were out of the tent before I was, I decided to go back and climb Peak 7738. Despite the long approach, most of the footwork was on the trail. So that usually doesn’t tire out the pups as quickly.

Morning of day two
Morning of day two

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Mirror Pass via Emerald Park Once More

So two days in a row, we made our way down to Emerald Park and up to Mirror Pass. However, we knew the trail’s exact location this time, so we were more efficient than the day before.

My favorite sun hat had fallen out of my pack while I reached for the headlamp the evening before. So part of me was glad to have returned so I could retrieve it. After a quick break, we then made our way up the south ridge.

Today's goal above Emerald Park
Today’s goal above Emerald Park

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Bear Sighting

Above Mirror Pass, I noticed two junior bears several hundred feet ahead running up toward the ridge. It was our first sighting of those animals since the trip to Andrew Peak. Glad that I had kept the dogs close.

One of them quickly disappeared into the trees while the other curious one decided to come near us. So I blasted the whistle and beat my poles together continuously, hoping it would get the message.

Aiming for the crest
Aiming for the crest

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Peak 7738 Climb

I could no longer hear the loud whistle. But the bear seemed to have understood my message and bypassed us from downhill to go on the ridge. It watched us from above for a bit before meeting its friend and left the scene.

The 30-second incident felt like a long time. So instead of taking the south ridge as I had planned, we stayed low for a while. Then we made our way up on the crest when the false summit came into view.

Seven Fingered Jack and Mount Fernow behind Mirror Mountain's south ridge
Seven Fingered Jack and Mount Fernow behind Mirror Mountain’s south ridge

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Peak 7738 False Summit

As Jim had mentioned in his report, the rhyolite dike ran through the east of the jagged ridgeline. That, in turn, allowed us to continue. Leading up to the false summit were several places with krummholz where the dogs needed some guidance.

From the false peak, we had our first sighting of the impressive Peak 7738. Plus, the lovely view of Mirror Lake was down in the basin. Soon, we dropped 100′ on the sandy north slope to the saddle and went around the east side.

Peak 7738 summit up ahead
Peak 7738 summit up ahead

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The Final Stretch on Peak 7738

After traversing a few narrow scree gullies, we were now 300′ below the top. Though, it’s still hard to pinpoint the actual summit. The one tower hanging over us looked like it could be the one.

Later we worked our way west and up through scree and using rock ledges when possible. Meanwhile, I hoped not to run into any cliffs en route. The route later veered north at 7600′, and it put us on the rocky summit after a long ridge walk.

The final stretch
The final stretch

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Point 7738 Summit Views

Views here were similar to Mirror Mountain but with a thin haze. However, to see the entire Mirror Lake required looking down the rocky west edge. By then, I was too hot even to bother going through more loose rocks to check out the pond.

Pinnacle Mountain looked even more distinct from this angle. Plus, the rest of the Chelan giants were now in plain sight as well. Meanwhile, the wildfire fume to the south had shot up from behind Bearcat Ridge.

South-to-west panoramic view
South-to-west panoramic view

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Milhem Pass One Last Time

Back on Mirror Pass, we repeated the same steps as the day before. Dropping 1200′ but only to regain the altitude was annoying. But it would be a long while before we visit again.

It turned out to be a warmer weekend than in the forecast. So back on Milhem Pass, we all took a much-needed nap in the shade. Then we hung out for another hour before slowly making our exit.

Leaving Emerald Park
Leaving Emerald Park

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Leaving Snow Brushy Creek Basin

Soon, we were back in Snow Brushy Creek Basin. Judging by the number of boot tracks, several parties had been in here in the last day or so. But it looked like we were the last ones leaving the deserted basin.

Down by the creek, I found the second reroute we had missed the day before. The path went closer to the water than I had realized. But then we missed the first detour and wrestled with one large down tree.

Leaving Milham Pass
Leaving Milham Pass

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Outro

At last, we made it down to the dusty path above Entiat River. I had thought about finding the trail fork we had missed the day before. But we would need to hike northwest for another half a mile, and I was too lazy by then.

Where the path began to veer northwest, we left the trail and beelined southwest. Then we went toward Entiat River Trail through the old burn. Later we took a break by the creek and walked the rest six miles out to the car.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

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