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Mount Margaret

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Mount Margaret

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  • Early views across I-90 to Keechelus Lake and Mount Catherine (5,052') from Forest Road 4832.- Mount Margaret
  • The crossing of Rocky Run.- Mount Margaret
  • Entering the forest after the creek crossing.- Mount Margaret
  • A small waterfall on Rocky Run.- Mount Margaret
  • Views of Mount Catherine (5,052') beyond some young Pacific silver firs (Abies amabilis).- Mount Margaret
  • A first peek at Mount Rainier (14,411').- Mount Margaret
  • Views down to Keechelus Lake after some elevation gain.- Mount Margaret
  • Young and old firs getting some sun.- Mount Margaret
  • A sizeable cornice on the promontory just south of Mount Margaret's true summit.- Mount Margaret
  • Crossing over to the main summit with a view of Mount Stuart (9,416') to the northeast.- Mount Margaret
  • Looking east down to Margaret Lake.- Mount Margaret
  • Chikamin Ridge from Mount Margaret's summit.- Mount Margaret
  • Summit view of the Stuart Range to the northeast.- Mount Margaret
  • Summit view of Mount Rainier (14,411') and Mountain Adams (12,280') to the south.- Mount Margaret
  • - Mount Margaret
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Pockets of old-growth forest. Fantastic views of the Central Cascades.
Cons: 
Old clear-cuts. Snowmobile access on lower slopes.
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Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,550.00 ft (777.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Mount Margaret stands high above the eastern shores of Keechelus Lake and directly across Interstate 90 from the Snoqualmie Pass East Ski Area. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness boundary happens to pass right over the mountain's summit, where the views north into the depths of this pristine land are nothing short of spectacular. While this area is no secret for the locals during the summer months, with a pair of snowshoes and some tenacity in colder weather, you can forget about running into any crowds. 

This route begins where the plowed portion of Forest Road 4832 ends. In heavy snow years, you can count on a mile of abutting interstate road travel to the bridge crossing at Rocky Run. Your decision to leave the road here will dramatically effect the remainder of your day. Sticking with the road sends you further southwest on an extended tour that switchbacks up the Wolfe Creek Valley to the Mount Margaret summer trailhead. The preferred route shaves miles off by heading due east up the forested slopes along the south banks of Rocky Run. Leave the creek in 0.5 miles as it veers off to the northeast and steer your way into more dense second-growth. A solid eastward bearing will take you up over two logging roads, both offering great views of Keechelus Lake to fuel your motivation. 

After passing the second road you'll enter a large clear-cut overspread with new-growth Pacific silver fir where you can look northeast up to Mount Margaret's forested summit. The last leg continues east into thicker stands of fir where you climb up to a ridge crest to meet the summer trail. Follow the trail corridor north around a large promontory to reach a sturdy final pitch to the true summit. You'll feel tall here, with a panoramic view that includes the Stuart Range, Eastern Washington, Mount Rainier, and even Mount Adams on an exceptionally clear day.  

Always check weather and avalanche conditions before traveling into 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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(21 within a 30 mile radius)

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