Norse Peak (6850 ft), Cascade Range
September 25, 2010

Click here for a full map of the Norse Peak Wilderness Area (large file)

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny Saturday in the midst of a fairly rainy fall.
We took the opportunity to hike up Norse Peak (upper left of photo) in the Norse Peak Wilderness Area.

I was hiking with Dan, Kevin, and Eric (the usual suspects).

Some trailhead confusion forced us to bushwack up the first 600 feet of slope, until we found the main trail.

The fall colors were brilliant in the subalpine meadows.
Here's a nice panorama.
We spent some of the time, off-route, cruising along ridge-tops.

The hike was unusual for us. There was no snow to be seen and all of the peaks were subalpine (below tree line).

Much of the hike was easy strolling through small cirques and basins with small lakes.
The terrain around here, coupled with the easy access from Crystal Mountain ski area, would make this a great place to come play in the winter!

After about three hours of hiking, we strolled up to the rounded summit of Norse Peak.

The view of Mt. Rainier from Norse Peak is spectacular.
We could see Mt. Adams clearly to the south, as well as part of Mt. St. Helens.
The Olympic Range was visible in the distant northwest.
To the north, we could see Glacier Peak and just barely make out Mt Baker.
We could see about 100 miles in every direction!

All in all, we hiked about 12 miles and climbed about 2500 feet.
It was the perfect way to utilize an unexpectedly sunny Saturday.