- Created on Friday, May 01 2009 16:57
- Written by Josh Lewis
Vesper Peak is east of Granite Falls and is near Silverton. The road getting there is friendly and a northwest forest pass is required. The trail starts out gentle and easy through the woods, a few creeks and a river (careful crossing it). There is an orange tag that represents the trail to cross the river. The first time I went there I took a wrong way and went on a primitive trail to Lewis Peak. After the river the trail starts to switch back a few times to a strait away, then you get to a boulder field valley. In the summer there are blue berries and don't forget water on this hike (espiecally on a hot day). The trail switch backs here and there, untill you get to the bottom of a multi-switch back part of the trail. Back and forth till you get to the pass (which is Headlee pass est. 4500ft. , 3.25 miles). After the pass you go through another rock field slowly gaining elevation till you get to Vesper Creek. You can go to Vesper Lake (0.2 miles from the creek, which is an exellent spot for resting or camping) or go on to the bottom of a ridge that goes to the top ( I recommend spending the night at the lake, and wake up the next day to head strait for the summit). At first the ridge is easy (in summer watch out for bees) then it switch backs a few to a rocky scramble. Scramble along this slope to the summit (Est.6,200 ft.). At the summit there is plenty to see, Glacier Peak, Sloan Peak, Mt. Dickerman, Mt. Pugh, Mt. Rainier, even Stuart and a little bit of the top of Adams.Getting there: Drive north on I-5 and exit to highway 2, once you cross the long bridge across Snohimish take a left to Lake Stevens. At lake Stevens take another left on to highway 9. After about half a mile or so of highway 9 take a right to enter highway 92 to Granite Falls. Once you get to Granite Falls take a left onto the Mountain Loop highway. You can stop by the rangers station in Verlot to get a northwest forest pass. You pass the Big 4 ice caves along the way. Right after Mt. Dickerman trailhead the road to Vesper is on your right and is road NF-4065. This is a car friendly road and is a little over two miles from the Mountail Loop Highway to Vesper Peak Trailhead.
"Vesper Peak during Sunset"
"Vesper Peak in Spring Taken from Mt. Dickerman"
"Sperry Peak at Sunrise taken on the way up Vesper Peak"
"Mist approaches as we are hiking up towards Headlee Pass"
The Parking lot is at an elevation of about 2,300 feet and is located in the Mountain loop highway near Silverton and is the Trailhead for Headlee Pass, Vesper Lake and Vesper Peak. You can also hike to Del Campo basin but the trail is poorly maintained and is not as rewarding but is fillled with blueberries, not that I'm not saying Vesper is'nt.Getting there: Drive North on I-5 and exit on to highway 2, once you cross the long bridge across Snohimish take a left to Lake Stevens. At lake Stevens take another left on to highway 9. After about half a mile or so of highway 9 take a right to enter highway 92 to Granite Falls. Once you get to Granite Falls take a left onto the Mountain Loop highway. You can stop by the rangers station in Verlot to get a northwest forest pass which is required and can be annaul which is $35 or a day pass which is $5. You pass the Big 4 ice caves along the way. Right after Mt. Dickerman trailhead the road to Vesper is on your right and is road NF-4065. This is a car friendly road and is a little over two miles from the Mountail Loop Highway to Vesper Peak Trailhead. Remember, this road is closed in the months of November to April, some times the times change due to amout of snow.
From the Vesper Peak trailhead, you start out on a hike through old growth forest and at about one third of a mile you get to the Stilguamish River. Be sure to cross it and there is a tiny orange flag just incase you don't figure it out, because once I made the mistake of going up a diffrent valley. Once you cross the river which is fairly safe so long as you hold on to the rope, you start switch backing up the very bottom of Morning Star Mountain. After switch backing you curve around the bottom of Morning Star and end up at the bottom of a vally between Sperry and Morning Star. There are places here you can spend the night but I don't quite recommend it because bolders go flying down this valley every now and then. Go up and up throught the valley and you start to get views of Mount Dickerman which will be North and there are lots of blueberries so long as you come in August or September. Before getting to the pass there are rock towers so that you dont lose the trail because the trail is'nt that clear. Next you start switch backing up a very steep slope and is not recommended that you throw rocks down because not only does it erode the trail but is very dangerous, once my imature friend did that once and almost hit me in the head with a bolder but lucky I dodged it. At the top of the switch backs is Headlee pass, and please be careful here. I recommend this hike June-October, because of snow and any other time of the year this can be very dangerous. Headlee Pass is 2.7 miles from the trailhead and is 4.600 feet high in elevation.
After getting to Headlee Pass, you might want to consider going farther to get better views and a great place for a picnic or a great place to spend the night. To get to Vesper Lake, continue along the trail from Headlee Pass whcih is on the middle area of Sperry Peak and please do not throw boulers down, it erodes the trail. Once you treverse the middle of Sperry, you come apon Vesper Creek. Cross the Vesper Creek then travel along side it until you get to Vesper Lake which is half a mile from Headlee Pass and is about 5,000 feet in elevation.
"Del Campo Peak with the Full Moon from Vesper Lake, a drawing created by my brother Michael Lewis"
After you got to Vesper Lake, and you feel like have more, consider going to the Summit of Vesper Peak, the vies here get much better. From Vesper lake, travel along side the creek back down a little and then once you meet back up with the trail, you might notice that it travels up onto a ridge, take this route and you are on your way to the Summit. Evenually as you are traveling up and up, you eventully get to a point were theres no trail. At this point, it is a mini scramble to the summit and If you cannot find your way, you can follow the rock towers which will guide the way. If you observe the rock there you will find lots and lots of fools gold, which I think is a very interesting site. At the summit you are rewarded with a 360 view of Mountain Peaks all around. You can see Sperry Peak, Del Campo Peak, Glacier Peak, Big Four Mountain, Copper Lake, Vesper Lake, Vesper Glacier, Three Fingers, Mount Pilchuck, Mount Rainier and much much more! The summit is 6,200 feet above Sea level and from the Trailhead a total evevation gain of about 4,000 feet and don't forget to sign the climbers log which is in a capluse at the summit.