Malcolm Mtn Loop – 06-29-2013

Mountaineers hike on the Malcolm Mountain Loop. Mild Temperatures (70F). At times muggy as we watched thunderstorms pass all around us moving towards the Stuart Range. The unmaintained Koppen Mountain Trail 1225 was easy to follow by staying as high as possible on the ridge whenever the trail petered out. An interesting encounter with a woodpecker family along the ridge. Wildflowers were simply amazing as usual along this spectacular loop. Great team. Awesome trip.

The unmaintained Koppen Mountain Trail 1225 is very faint along 3 miles of the rocky ridgeline. The actual trail seems to come and go in the sparsely covered meadow-topped ridge. It is best to stay atop the ridge the entire distance to avoid walking on loose scree while attempting to find the “official” trail – whatever trail once crossed these sections is now gone forever.

Participants include Nicole Hansen (leader), Kiersten Israel-Ballard, and Ettie Matza. Ettie sure knows her wildflowers!

Malcolm Mtn Loop – 06-29-2013 (Fullscreen Slideshow)

References:

  • Green Trails Mount Stuart, No. 209
  • Best Loop Hikes Washington, by Dan Nelson and Alan Bauer, No. 58 Malcolm Mountain

Views of the entire North Fork Teanaway River valley await you from the top of Medra Pass along this route. Then there’s Mount Stuart: the massive monolithic rock towers over the northern horizon. Overhead, Cooper’s hawks commonly soar, and underfoot, carpets of wildflowers surround the trail. This is truly a glorious wilderness trail, even if it’s not officially recognized as wilderness.

For those who have the will and energy, both Malcolm Mountain and Johnson Mountain can be easily scrambled along this loop.

Driving Directions
From Seattle, drive east on I-90, take exit 85, and drive approximately 6 miles on State Route 970. Turn left (west) onto Teanaway River Road. At 13 miles the pavement ends; veer right onto FS Road 9737. Continue 4 miles and just after passing the Beverly Campground in 0.3 mile look closely on the left side of the roadway at a slight curve in the road and find an unmarked trailhead for Johnson Creek. Parking is best in the small primitive camp area across the road from the trailhead.
Trailhead GPS coordinates (47.38083,-120.885751)
NW Forest Pass required.

Hiking Stats:
10.5 miles, 3143 ft. gain, 7 hrs 35 min.

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