Quiemuth Peak by Spiraltop and Stahl Mountain in Pleasant Valley / 奎茅斯峯

  • Reading time:8 mins read

Quiemuth Peak by Spiraltop in Pleasant Valley is the highest point in Thurston County. It towers over Alder Lake, west of the quiet community of Mineral. Like other places here, it’s possible to add a nearby hill to the trip when time allows.

The final stretch on Quiemuth Peak
The final stretch on Quiemuth Peak

See more trip photos here.

Quiemuth Peak at a Glance

Access: Pleasant Valley Road gate (NF-74)
Round Trip: 6.4 miles
Elevation Range: 1240′-2922′
Gear: microspikes
Route Info: Chris Strode
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the road

The Preface

Quiemuth Peak had only received its name in 1993, honoring Nisqually Chief Quiemuth, brother to Chief Leschi. Both had fought white settlers and soldiers during the Indian Wars of 1855 and 1856. See more history here.

I wanted to give my foot more time to recover before delving into the high places. So I looked for a new spot west of the Cascades and found Quiemuth Peak. It rests in Pleasant Valley, where we had done a few hikes.

Road 74 closure
Road 74 closure

See more trip photos here.

Road 74 (Little Nisqually Road)

I expected to see people, judging by the number of recorded ascents plus the road. But we reached an empty gate at the end of Pleasant Valley Road. Then we started strolling through the sleepy community at 7 AM.

A few hundred feet past the entrance was a fork with gates on both sides. We went under a down tree before continuing on the left. Soon afterward, we walked past the inlet with a limited view of Alder Lake.

Road washout
Road washout

See more trip photos here.

The Scramble Route

We went over an old washout with water spilling over the roadway. I had decided to scramble to see how my foot would feel. So before entering the national forest at mile 1.3, we left the path and headed southwest uphill.

Trees had long strewn the forest floor as we weaved through them from the get-go. It would’ve been steep but enjoyable if it weren’t for the debris. So we slowly made our way up and reached the ridge 800′ above.

This way to Quiemuth Peak
This way to Quiemuth Peak

See more trip photos here.

Quiemuth Peak East Ridge

We never got a break from the deadfall, then more showed up on the ridge. I had thought about bypassing the clutter by dropping onto Road 017 south of the ridgeline. But it didn’t seem like a good use of our time.

Instead, we continued on the crest heading west over the crisscrossing logs. En route, Mount Rainier and Alder Lake appeared through small clearings. We later left the big mess and stumbled upon an outworn road.

East ridge walk
East ridge walk

See more trip photos here.

Quiemuth Peak Summit

The path took us up to the east bump before shortly reaching the summit to the west. As other reports had mentioned, there were no views. Otherwise, the sight of vast Alder Lake to the north would’ve been spectacular.

We only stayed 15 minutes before leaving the breezy summit. I debated whether to make a loop trip by going down the north slopes. But then I opted to retrace our steps down the east ridge for the short distance.

Mount Rainier from the east ridge
Mount Rainier from the east ridge

See more trip photos here.

Outro

It took just as long to scramble back to the road. Besides, the massive down trees over the steep incline were much less manageable in reverse. I also spent more time on my left foot placement to avoid straining it.

I thought we’d see people by now but were still the only ones around. Then before the inlet, we followed a faint path down to the shore. The pups enjoyed the water for a bit before finishing the walk back to the gate.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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