Snowshoe Butte by Crossover Butte via Stampede Pass / 雪鞋孤峯

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Snowshoe Butte by Crossover Butte sits at the east edge of the Green River Watershed on the county line. The nearest higher peak, Cole Butte West, is over five miles to the east. Meanwhile, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) runs below the east up to Stampede Pass.

Snowshoe Butte from the road
Snowshoe Butte from the road

See more trip photos here.

Snowshoe Butte at a Glance

Access: Road 5403-545
Round Trip: .5 mile
Elevation Range: 4840′-5135′
Gear: none
Route Info: Greg Slayden
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

The dogs won’t be able to join me on another trip until the first weekend in October. But I wanted to take them out mid-week to stretch their legs. The quick walk-up to Snowshoe Butte made for a perfect post-work jaunt.

The peak is one of many high points in the area that is best to access when snow-free. It made sense that almost all recorded ascents happen in July or later. Otherwise, it’s a long walk from the snow berm by Crystal Springs Sno-Park.

Road 5403
Road 5403

See more trip photos here.

The Long Drive to Snowshoe Butte

The 14.5-mile drive from the freeway turnoff took a while. The lower part involved going through the washboard roadway with potholes up to Stampede Pass. Then it dipped before turning onto Road 5403 around Lizard Lake.

The road improved higher on the mountains. But I kept my fingers crossed for zero down trees over the old logging roads. Without a chainsaw, all it would take was one medium size windfall to cut the trip short.

North view from the end of the road
North view from the end of the road

See more trip photos here.

West Ridge Walk-up

Google Maps was generous with the estimated driving time on gravel over the potholes. In the end, it took 30 extra minutes to reach the end of the road. With only 10 minutes to sunset, we were running short of daylight.

I took a few photos from the open area by the car since we’d soon lose the colors. Then we dove into the light brush on a faint trail and up the hill. It’s a whopping quarter of a mile over 300′ gain to the top.

West ridge to Snowshoe Butte
West ridge to Snowshoe Butte

See more trip photos here.

Snowshoe Butte Summit Views

After going east and weaving through the forest, we soon went above the trees. Then a defined path took us through the grassy slope to the top. I snapped a photo of the sun setting behind the dark clouds during this.

The rusted metal remains were once a part of the old lookout that stood from 1935 to 1965. Views to the east and the south were decent, with many peaks I couldn’t name. Even with trees on the west, it was broader than I expected.

Summit ridge
Summit ridge

See more trip photos here.

Back to Stampede Pass and Out

I wish we had more time to enjoy the vistas to make the long drive worthwhile. We could even walk up another peak nearby for different views. But the sky had dimmed so fast that we only stayed 15 minutes at the most.

It was still bright that we walked down to the car without the headlamp. Glad I could spend time with the dogs outside before boarding them again. But I want to try going up one more nearby peak before the snow comes.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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