Activity. Hiking, mountain biking, trail running.
Skills: Mountaineers would call this an easy climb but hikers need
intermediate navigation skills to follow the map (there is no signage) and
advanced hiking skills to reach the top which involves more route finding, a
little bushwhacking, and steep walking.
Fitness: 2 to end of trail, 2+ to reach the summit
Access. From Loomis, follow Loomis-Oroville Hwy 2.2 miles north. Turn left on Toats Coulee Rd, following it for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Chopaka Lake Rd. Once on this road, stay on the biggest (main) road at forks. The road cruises uphill for 5 miles before reaching a fork. Hang a right, and see the jeep road that is the start of this hike one mile beyond the fork. This is the start of the hike. There is a small pullout just beyond the jeep road on your right. The Chopaka Lake Campground is 1 mile beyond this point.
*Head up the jeep road 0.9 miles to an old cabin and an old mining building. You’ll go through one cattle gate to get here (close the gate behind you).
*Contour on the jeep road another 0.5 miles through one more cattle gate to a cabin with a sign reading ‘Beef Pasture Cabin’. You’ll pass at least one other road that climbs more steeply but stay on
the flatter road that contours. Note: The map marks Beef Pasture Cabin as the first cabin you pass, but signage on the actual cabins mark the second cabin with this name.
*At Beef Pasture Cabin head up the jeep road going north straight up the fall line (the contouring road makes a big loop out to the northwest. You’ll go through another gate and, about 1.1 miles from the cabin, hit a fence and gate noting that the area beyond is a wilderness study area. The civilized hike ends here.
*Less civilized people can pass through the gate and mainly walk north or northwest toward the top. The going now is mainly cross-country. The first 0.4 miles toward the summit will be a walk through tall grass. Soon trees enter the mix and you’ll walk through a mix of trees and tall grass for about 0.5 miles. Eventually the trees thicken and you’ll walk through forests for another 0.5 miles (trending northwest now) to reach the top. Occassioanally small rock outcrops may force you to use your hands for a move or two of scrambling, but by following the path of least resistance the climbing should never be difficult. Near the very top, talus and scree dominate and the trees clear enough to give you excellent views down at Chopaka Lake, Palmer Lake, the Similkameen River, as well as out at the higher summit of Chopaka Mountain to the northwest.
*Return by retracing the route.
Map: See our topo map.
Waypoints: To download the waypoints noted on the map, go here and click on the link to the GPX file.
Land Ownership – Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Permits: None needed if you park where the jeep trail takes off. A Discover Pass is Required if you park at Chopaka Lake in the campground.
Other: Bring plenty of water, the route is long and dry.
Leave It Better than You Found It. This should be every user’s goal. Do no damage and pick up trash left by others.
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.
This post was originally published on 8/15/14.