Hibox Mountain-South Route

Hibox Mountain is the highest point on Box Ridge, the ridge between Box Creek and Mineral Creek. The ridge extends more than 4 miles and features three significant highpoints with the central summit being the highest (+6560’). This trip was largely inspired when I viewed Box Ridge from Lemah Mountain. From Lemah the entire ridge appears steep and cliffy but the SW slopes are considerably less formidable than the facades we saw from Lemah. If nothing else this was a sunny October day in the mountains but I will add that Hibox Mountain is an excellent vantage point, particularly of the peaks north of Snoqualmie Pass.

Approximate route on Hibox Mountain

Accompanied by Chris Mattson, we departed the ever popular Rachel Lake Trailhead near the end of FSR 4930 (take Exit 62 off I-90 and go north then left at prominent "T" keeping right at next major intersection). We began hiking FST 1313 toward Rachel Lake. At a little over two miles the trail enters the first of two brushy openings. After crossing the second opening we located the climber’s path in open timber. We started up the path finding it to be reasonable to follow. Not far from the Rachel Lake trail the path steepened but avoids brush. At c.4600’ the trail emerges from the forest and ascends a steep dirt slope.

Chris gets his hands dirty

The trail continues through a few more trees then up open grass slopes where is became hard to follow. Eventually, we relocate the path in scree and follow is to a gully where we would ignore the guide books and get off route for the next half hour. At the top of the gully we found loose rock and climbing beyond what we were expecting. After descending the gully we traversed east near the base of the summit cliffs to the crest of Box Ridge where the route was now obvious. We were a bit disappointed that the final scramble was short lived with only a bit of class 3. It took 4 hours to reach the summit including our excursion up the wrong gully.

Three Queens from Box Ridge

Chris on the Ridge

The Lemah-Chimney Group from Hibox Mountain

Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 1, 2nd Edition; Fred Beckey; Pages 164
75 Scrambles in Washington; Peggy Goldman; Pages 176-177