Hex Mountain Snowshoe
Hike of the Week:
February 25, 2008
Distance: 7 miles r.t.
Elevation: 2,600 feet to 5030 feet
Maps: Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
Hex Mountain is a steep snowshoe with a huge reward: 360 degree views of Mt. Rainier, the Stuart Range, and the Teanaways. The best news is that the ridge trail is well sheltered, which makes it a good choice in a year where avalanche conditions are wild.
The snowshoe trail begins on an old logging road (which can be shared with snowmobiles), wending its way steadily upward through forest for about 1.7 miles until you reach the official summer Hex Mountain trailhead at about 3400 feet. Recent Trip Reports claim the trailhead kiosk is just visible above the snow on the right, and one report details the sometimes confusing road walk.
As you start climbing on the summer trail it steepens considerably until you attain the ridge. Fortunately, the views keep getting more and more spectacular as you climb. It's fun to dodge around the thin tree-cover as you ascend. After 1.5 miles of climbing from the summer trailhead, you will emerge on the south end of Sasse Ridge. Spin around and enjoy the limitless views, then go to the right and climb the remaining one-third mile to the summit - elevation 5030 feet.
For More Information:
Guidebook: Snowshoe Routes - Washington by Dan Nelson (Mountaineers Books). There are quite a few Trip Reports posted for Hex Mountain - search for Hex, then Select All and Read Selected Reports to peruse them all.
From I-90, take Exit 80 toward the town of Roslyn. Got north on the Bullfrog Cutoff Road and at the T-intersection, take a left on S.R. 903. After 9 miles and passing through Roslyn and Ronald, go right on F.R. 116. If plowed, park here; otherwise, backtrack down S.R. 903 a couple hundred yards to a plowed area on the west side of the highway near Newport Creek. No pass is necessary in winter. You'll start by hiking up F.R. 116