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Hex Mountain

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Hex Mountain

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  • Winter gate at the beginning of Forest Road 116.- Hex Mountain
  • Keeping with the route through the first mile.- Hex Mountain
  • Hex Mountain summer trailhead.- Hex Mountain
  • Gaining the ridge with the first great views to the north.- Hex Mountain
  • Newport Creek basin.- Hex Mountain
  • Ridge climb with Hex Mountain (5,034') up to the right.- Hex Mountain
  • Inside Wenatchee National Forest.- Hex Mountain
  • Last push to the summit.- Hex Mountain
  • Summit views toward Eastern Washington.- Hex Mountain
  • The Stuart Range to the northeast.- Hex Mountain
  • Mount Hinman (7,492') and Mount Daniel (7,960').- Hex Mountain
  • Summit view of Cle Elum Lake and Mount Rainier (14,411').- Hex Mountain
  • Cle Elum Lake on the way back down the ridge.- Hex Mountain
  • Sun dipping behind Kachess Ridge.- Hex Mountain
  • First views of Cle Elum Lake.- Hex Mountain
  • - Hex Mountain
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Summit views. Old-growth forest.
Cons: 
Wayfinding is difficult for the first mile.
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Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,600.00 ft (792.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,391.00 ft (728.78 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The Hex Mountain winter route provides a rare opportunity to reach some phenomenal viewpoints with low avalanche danger. A nice portion of the route climbs a ridge through sparse pine trees, granting sweeping north-to-south views of Cle Elum Lake. The stunning scenery from the top, including the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the north (with particularly intimate views of the Stuart Range) along with rolling foothills toward the barren lands of Eastern Washington, showcases the arrant contrast of Washington's landscape.

After parking along the west shoulder of SR 903 on the south side of the Newport Creek bridge, carry your snowshoes or skis up the highway for 0.2 miles to Forest Road 116 on the right. The first mile of the route zigzags through a series of junctions and spur roads, and it can present a mild navigational challenge if you happen to be pioneering the first tracks of the day. Use your best judgment to stick with the main road (always in a northeast fashion) until approximately 0.5 miles in, where it is important to bear all the way to the right.

At 1.7 miles and 3,485 feet, the forest road reaches the signed Hex Mountain summer trailhead. Here you get a small taste of the sprawling lake views to come. The trail cuts up the hillside, eventually gaining more open territory and the beginning of a ridge.  There are some incredible views of Hex Mountain and the remainder of your route, along with the Newport Creek basin below.  For the next mile up the ridge, it is definitely worthwhile to look over your shoulder often before crossing into the dense Wenatchee National Forest. Once you meet the Sasse Ridge Trail junction, hang right for an additional 0.2-mile push up to the bare summit. 

Note: Though this is a low risk adventure in terms of avalanche danger, always check avalanche and weather conditions before traveling in the backcountry.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(24 within a 30 mile radius)

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(93 within a 30 mile radius)

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