In addition to being a great wildflower hike in the spring, this uncrowded trail also offers a steep climb and a good workout.
Maps: View our topo map below. Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper.
Nearest Town: Stevens Pass
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 3
Recommended Season: Late summer. In early summer, the higher parts of the trail may still be covered in snow and only experienced mountaineers can expect to reach the summit.
Options: Rock Mountain can be hiked from two different locations. The shortest drive is directly off US Highway 2, 26 miles west of Leavenworth (Milepost 73.2). The more scenic route (but a longer drive) is to access from the Smithbrook Road and hike up Snowy Creek. Another possibility is to leave a car at each trailhead and hike the route as a one-way, 9-mile hike.
ROCK MOUNTAIN TRAIL:
Distance: 9 miles round trip
Elevation: 3700 ft gain
Take US Highway 2 for 26 miles west of Leavenworth (Milepost 73.2). Look for the Rock Mountain Trail on your right (north side of the road).
The trail starts as an abandoned road, eventually changing to a footpath as it climbs. The trail leads to the summit ridge–follow this ridge another 1/3 mile to the summit.
SNOWY CREEK OPTION:
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3,280 feet
Drive 30.5 miles west of Leavenworth on Highway 2 to the Smithbrook Road (Road #6700 located at milepost 68.5). Turn right onto the Smithbrook Road which immediately turns to gravel. Reset the odometer. After 3.1 miles, you’ll pass the Smithbrook Trail trailhead on the left, just before a large switchback. Continue past this and in another 2 miles go straight where another road Ys off. Drive about 3.7 miles and park in a wide spot on the right of the road just a short ways before the road dead ends. Total distance from Highway 2 to the Snowy Creek Trailhead (Trail #1531)is about 8.8 miles.
Trip Instructions :
–Follow Trail #1531 up. The initial mile up to a meadow is all uphill but the grade is easy. After the meadow, the trail gets serious about gaining elevation.
–Some 3.7 miles from the start, the trail crests the south ridge of Rock Mountain (el 6,020′). Turn left here and follow the ridge to the the summit.
Cons/Hazards: Above the meadows this is a hot walk in summer (no shade and southwestern exposure). Bring plenty of water.
Additional Information: The information for the Rock Mountain Trail option was compiled from Karen Sykes’ report for the Seattle PI (July 10, 1997). To read to full article, click here.
Trip Reporter: Jan Dappen 10/23/2006
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.