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[TR] Hadley Peak (7515') - Skyline Divide Trail to South Ridge 09/25/2021

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Trip: Hadley Peak (7515') - Skyline Divide Trail to South Ridge

Trip Date: 09/25/2021

Trip Report:

Hadley Peak (7515') – Skyline Divide Trail Approach – Sept  25, 2021 (Sat).

The weather was perfect, 60 degrees and clear skies.  Last time I climbed the Skyline Divide trail was about 24 years ago.  I had forgotten how beautiful this area is. 

Saturday:  I headed out from the trailhead (4400’) at 7:00am.  The trail is in excellent condition, lots of traffic.  The trail starts climbing right from the start.  The trial starts to open up around (6000’).  I ran into a couple hunters on the way up.  There are lots of hunters in the area currently, it probably would be a good idea to wear some bright clothing to help standout a bit more.  I made it to the top of the Skyline Divide Trail Bluff (6600’) at 9:00am.  I arrived to the Lake (6400’) at 9:45am.  The lake is the only source of water along the route that doesn’t require down climbing to get to.  The route starts climbing steeply up the ridge from the lake.  There is a trail pretty much the whole route up to the summit.  The trail is a little hard to follow in a couple spots, but it is there.  I spotted a herd of 25 mountain goats on my way along Chowder Ridge.  I made it to the summit of Hadley Peak (7515’) at 12:00. I climbed the South Ridge to the summit.  The ridge was Class 2 with a little Class 3 here and there.  The rock is loose but not that bad by Cascade standards.  The views from the summit are fantastic with Mount Baker right in your face.  There was another herd of 12 mountain goats that I spotted from the summit.   I’ve never seen so many mountain goats in one area before.  I started back down at 12:45pm.  I made it back to the trailhead at 5:00pm.

This area of the Cascades is so beautiful that it almost looks fake.  This was a great, laid-back day climb, perfect for Fall.    


Some Tips and Notes:

1.       The only water source on route is the lake at 6400’.

2.       Lots of hunters in the area currently, wear something bright. 

3.       The route starts to get steep right after the lake but levels out after achieving the ridge.

4.       There is no snow to cross on route. 

5.       The South Ridge route has the least amount of loose rock,  Class 2-3.

6.       There are nice camping options all along the ridge and on connecting ridges.


Travel Time for reference:

Saturday:  Trailhead to summit back to trailhead - 10 hours. 

Total Mileage:  about 15 miles

Total Elevation Gain: around 4000’


Welcome to Valhalla.


Ridge after ridge.


Lake at 6400'.


Ridge above Lake.


25 Mountain Goats along Chowder Ridge.


Chowder Ridge to Hadley Peak.


South Ridge to Summit.


Mount Baker close and personal.


View on the way out.

Gear Notes:
I used Trekking Poles and a Helmet.

Approach Notes:
Skyline Divide Trail Approach to the South Ridge of Hadley.
  • Rawk on! 2

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Beautiful photos, thanks for posting! Looks like a fine hike.

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Cool!  This has been on the list for a long time.....looks like I need to make it happen.  Did you bump into a couple of friends of mine coming in via Cougar Divide?

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I did meet a couple on my way up who were coming down from the summit who had come up via the Cougar Divide.  The Cougar Divide route looks to be a shorter, more direct route.  They said they ran into a lot of hunters on the way up as well.    

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