Mount Higgins by Round Mountain via Swede Heaven / 希金斯山

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Mount Higgins by Round Mountain sits on the far east of the three-mile ridge above Swede Heaven. At its foothills winds the North Fork Stillaguamish River. Meanwhile, Whitehorse Mountain overlooks Darrington to the east.

Mount Higgins in a minute
Mount Higgins in a minute

See more trip photos here.

Mount Higgins at a Glance

Access: NF-1891
Round Trip: 8.3 miles
Elevation Range: 1000′-5176′
Gear: microspikes
Route Info: Brian Hill
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Swede Heaven to Road 1891

The late black lab and I hiked to Mount Higgins’s old lookout in 2009. I thought we were at the high point until the east peak appeared behind Skadulgwas Peak. Though I knew we’d returned, I didn’t think it’d take 13 years.

The young black pup and I drove past Swede Heaven on NF-1890 to the fork with Road 1891. Then from the brushy old gate, it was 2.5 miles and 250′ gain to the gully south of the summit. En route were spotty valley views.

West view of Stillaguamish River Valley and the Olympic Mountains
West view of Stillaguamish River Valley and the Olympic Mountains

See more trip photos here.

South Route to West Ridge

We picked a spot past the gully and scrambled via the open, leafy terrain. After crossing a stream, we soon found a cozy old shed showing recent activities. Moving up one minor ridge west of the summit, we found snow at 2200′.

Crest began to form in 1000′ as we bypassed the outcrops from the west to 3600′. A steep incline with help from tree roots soon took us to the clearing at 4500′. Then we hugged the west edge in steady snow up to the west ridge.

Round Mountain to the north
Round Mountain to the north

See more trip photos here.

Mount Higgins Summit

The final 1000′ snowy ridge traverse was postholing through half-exposed boulders. Soon, we reached the windy peak just before the crest dipped. Stillaguamish River spanned below with familiar peaks, including Mount Pugh.

A moment of tearful joy soon arose as I glanced at the peaceful landscape around us. What I had started with the late black lab, I finished with the young black pup a zodiac cycle later. But what a great time to be alive!

Southeast panorama from Mount Higgins
Southeast panorama from Mount Higgins

See more trip photos here.

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