Some of you apparently expected a summary of my last hike into the Ingalls/Mt. Stuart area of the Cascades. Some of you may be very familiar with this area. Some notes for your reference are below to consider a range of possibilities in this area. Though this route doesn’t take you to Mt. Stuart, you will get an awesome view of this, the largest massif of granite in the Western Hemisphere, rising up like a great tooth into the sky, flanked by a razorback of crags typical of this and other areas in the Cascades. Head east on I90 and get off in Cle Elum, take, I believe, 97 north (970?) to the left hand turn for Teanaway River road. Continue up this road for probably about 20 miles. You will pass a right-hand turn for Red Mountain (or butte) a fishery and campground, on your left. Continue up into the mountains until the end of the road. This trailhead will lead you out into the Esmeralda region for a nice dayhike, or in a more easterly direction towards Ingalls. This will cross a ridge and head down to a basin laden with classic campsites (no fires please) and, continuing on the trail, a jaunt out to Ingalls, an attractive glacial lake. Scrambling up the moraine, and the snowfields above, will take you up to Ingalls Peak, a class 5 plus climb, or other easier summits nearby for spectacular views out to the Northern Cascades, Esmeralda and the indomitable Stuart looming in the south. This area is easily accessible and worth the effort. I have left the photos of this area, accompanied by my parents and brothers, plus a North Cascades run to Liberty Cap (no ascent). Check them out in the 5th floor kitchen.
Another area is in the Taneum Creek region. This is past Cle Elum again, exit at Elk Heights, to the left on I90, before Ellensburg, and follow the signs to Taneum Creek. This valley, rather idyllic takes you up, to a grouping of trailheads that lead out into the hills of the national forest. For the trailhead that I took, bear right at the V’s. Be aware that much of this land has been logged, to my estimation, about 60 years ago. Some of the logging is selective, and designed to be screens for more heavily logged expanses. Hikes to the ridge and deeper into less traversed areas are possible. In the winter, these areas should be awesome. Both the Ingalls/Esmeralda speak the same snowy legacy for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Bear in mind as well that both groups of trails are accessible to horse packers, previously a derided lot, now more environmentally savvy (trendier). Two motorcyclists went by, and back on Taneum, the only people encountered.
Have fun. Be wild.