Twin Peaks East by Dickerman Mountain via Perry Creek Trail / 雙子峯

  • Reading time:10 mins read

Twin Peaks East by Dickerman Mountain perches over Perry Creek Basin. Below the west flows the South Fork Stillaguamish River beside Mountain Loop Highway. Meanwhile, Barlow Pass sits below the south by the Sauk River.

Leaving Twin Peaks East
Leaving Twin Peaks East

See more trip photos here.

Twin Peaks East at a Glance

Access: Perry Creek Trail
Round Trip: 9.3 miles
Elevation Range: 1800′-5836′
Gear: helmet, crampons, ice ax
Route Info: Andy Dewey, Matt Burton
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no
Playlist: Ethereal

The Preface

I took my first photo of Twin Peaks when visiting Dickerman Mountain in 2009. Back then, the thought of leaving the beaten path to climb hadn’t entered my mind. So it sat on the back burner as other places kept me busy over the years.

There are seven Twin Peaks in Washington State. So far, I’ve only been to the hard-to-reach one in Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Despite being 36 feet higher than the west summit, some argue that both peaks are equally tall.

Looking south from Perry Creek Trail
Looking south from Perry Creek Trail

See more trip photos here.

Perry Creek Trail

The last time we were here was 11 years ago on the way to Stillaguamish Peak. We’d also walked this trail twice before that, including the trip to Mount Forgotten. Today, I started from the old Perry Creek Road, gated with big rocks instead.

I hardly recognized the trail or remembered the plethora of waterfalls en route. But the morning clouds were still high to let in valley views and kept the eyes busy. Soon, two people showed up during one of my many photo stops.

Waterfalls across the valley
Waterfalls across the valley

See more trip photos here.

Perry Creek Falls to the Lower Basin

Nina (Naɪna), Brandon, and I walked together until Perry Creek Falls. Then they crossed the water and continued to Stillaguamish Peak. I, on the hand, dove into the light brush toward Dickerman Mountain’s northeast headwall.

I took the talus to 3600′ above the vegetation to avoid the massive slide alder ahead. Then I moved east below the buttresses through several gullies and rose 200′. In the mists, the sound of the waterfall led me to the top of the lower basin.

Falls atop the lower basin
Falls atop the lower basin

See more trip photos here.

North Basin of Twin Peaks East

The terrain felt steeper in the fog as I bypassed the waterfall from the south. Soon, the grass ramp took me to the snowfield above the falls below the headwall. Visibility here was at its worst as I could no longer see anything.

Despite being close to many beautiful waterfalls, I couldn’t see any in the mists. I crossed the snow to the east and soon returned to the rocks. Then I followed the terrain contour through a narrow gully until the continuous snow.

The backside of Dickerman Mountain
The backside of Dickerman Mountain

See more trip photos here.

The Notch Between the Two Peaks

I put on crampons and continued northeast until suddenly, some blue color came through the mists. Then I knew I was in the inversion this whole time and couldn’t wait to go above it. At 4800′, I turned sharply south above the trees.

It was a scenic 600′ mild walk up to the snow gully below the two peaks. Then I went through a 250′ steep incline to the notch between the two summits. Views of both sides were incredible from there, even at 200′ below the top.

Southeast view from the notch below Twin Peaks East
Southeast view from the notch below Twin Peaks East

Twin Peaks East Summit Views

I soon dropped some altitude and hugged the cliffs to the north side. Then I finished the last 150′ weaving through grass and solid rock ledges. But before I settled in, I turned to see the impressive west peak’s profile.

The inversion in the nearby valleys was low except to the southeast. The clouds there quickly rose and never left Sloan Peak or the Monte Cristo Group. Before long, the mists had reclaimed Lewis Peak and Morning Star Peak.

Southwest panorama from Twin Peaks East
Southwest panorama from Twin Peaks East

See more trip photos here.

Leaving Perry Creek Valley

I stayed for an hour before leaving and was late to return home to let the dogs out. But it felt great to finally visit the place I’d stared at from other places for years. I reached back at the forest and soon retraced my steps to the lower basin.

I tried following the creek bed since it looked direct from the top. Surprisingly, it was dry but rocky until the sudden sight of the underground water; how cool! Then I went over some brush to the trail nearby and walked out.

One last look at Twin Peaks
One last look at Twin Peaks

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from One Hike A Week / 每週一行

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading