Vesper Peak - A Favorite Hike With Outstanding Views
Vesper Peak is one of the best hikes in the North Cascades. It's a long and hard hike, but you are rewarded with 360 degree views of some of the most spectacular peaks in Washington State.
Vesper Peak, Everybody's Favorite
Whenever I mention the name Vesper to any of my outdoorsy friends, I get the same response from every one of them.
Oh, that's my favorite peak!
And indeed, on that day, Vesper did not disappoint. Now it's my favorite hike, too.
Here's a recount of our story.
This was a Seattle Mountaineers scrambling trip with a group of 10 other folks. We started at the Sunrise Mine trail head, where a sign says there are 2 miles to Headlee Pass.
From the trail head we hiked for about 20 minutes through dense foliage to reach a narrow creek crossing.
Once on the other side, we started switch-backing up in humid, 90 degrees weather, sweating like a shower. Tree cover was scarce on this section, but eventually the sun hid behind a giant rocky peak east of the trail to keep us cool.
We continued up the valley, then on a bolder/scree field on the west shoulder, until we got to the bottom of a gully leading up to Headlee Pass.
Here at the pass we stopped for a quick bite to eat. After we resumed, we crossed on the other side (the pass is very-very narrow), and saw Vesper Peak for the first time.
About 20 minutes from the pass, we got onto the snow field right below Vesper and stared marching up.
After another 20 minutes or so, for a total of about an hour from the pass, we peaked the snowfield and gained the summit ridge.
Once the snow ended, there was just under a hundred feet in elevation to reach the summit, a little scramble on big boulders, and a perfect place to have lunch, relax and enjoy the views. We deserved it.
Here are the views we enjoyed while having lunch. You can't ask for more.
A great trip in great company.
I hope to come up here again when the air is clearer (from the eastern Washington fires). It would be great to spend the night up here, too, and enjoy a fabulous sunset with a hot whiskey cider in your hand.
Thanks for reading, and happy hiking!
Vesper PeakDay Hike / Mountaineering / Overnight • Washington / North Cascades
Distance: 8 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 4200' gain, 6200' high point
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Location: Sunrise Mine Trailhead, NF-4065, Granite Falls, WA 98252
Map: Green Trails Maps Sloan 111 and Silverton 110, WTA Guide