One of about six former lookout sites in the Stevens Pass area, Poe Mountain boasts two different trails to the summit; the original steep supply route to the retired fire lookout via a trail rising from the Little Wenatchee campground, and the more moderate trail via the Irving Pass Trail. Irving Pass is the recommended route, since you spend a significant amount of the hike on the ridge with awesome views both north and south.
Although numerically easier (the Little Wenatchee Trail climbs 3000 feet to this trail's 1800), you'll still get your workout hiking in via Irving Pass; this route hikes harder than it reads. However you reach it, the old lookout site on Poe provides excellent views in all directions.
There are no stream crossings, springs or reliable water on this trail so make sure you are adequately supplied. There can be easily crossed snow drifts until midsummer on this trail, so be sure to check WTA's trip reports (below) for current conditions.
The first tenth of a mile of the hike is in the sunshine of an old clear cut. Then the trail climbs 600 feet in a half mile on a well-maintained, moderately switchbacked trail to Irving Pass. At the pass, look left, past the Wilderness boundary sign for the trail climbing up the ridge. After a brief water and snack break, head take the left onto Trail #1545. Nearby, there is an unmaintained trail used by high country hunters that proceeds straight down into Cockeye Creek. It's not your route, and with a name like that, it's worth avoiding.
The ridge trail quickly delivers its views; you are walking between trees that have somehow found room to root in the 15 foot flat space on the top of the ridge which drops south to the Little Wenatchee River and north into the White River drainage.
Approximately three-quarters of a mile up the ridge is the one challenging point on the trail. Traverse north around a large rock knob. Early in the season this area can be choked with late snow -- if it looks impassible come back another day.
But if the snow is gone, you will be able to proceed 50 yards and do a short, steep climb to rejoin the ridge. Recently an old climbing rope has been left to provide a secure hand up across this section.
Once back on the ridge, the views continue off both sides of the trail. In about a mile, climb to what you thought was the summit only to find the true summit in the distance, another half mile away. This section of the trail passes through a number of dense huckleberry patches. Snow can linger in the low swale before the summit.
You will come upon a Y junction in the trail, where there is the remnant of a sign post, in the middle of the Y. Go up to the right. A left here will hook up with Trail #1520 coming up on the other side of the peak.
There are spectacular views from the top of Poe looking north to Glacier Peak, west up Meander Meadow to Kodak Peak, south to Rock Mountain, and on a clear day Rainier is visible.
Poe Mountain via Irving Pass
- 5.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1800 feet
- Highest Point
- 6015 feet
Trail closed: Wildfire
Hiking Poe Mountain via Irving Pass
Poe Mountain via Irving Pass
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.8953, -121.0360 Open in Google Maps