Teapot Mountain


Teapot Mountain is the site of an old lookout.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

The backcountry skiing didn't look too good, and even the track skiing was looking limited. Our snow is melting.

So it was either a fat bike ride, or find a snowshoe/hike. We chose the latter, heading to Warm Lake and down the South Fork to the Buckhorn Creek trailhead, the same trailhead I used last spring for Sixmile Ridge.

In the extremely icy condition of the road, it was about a 90 minute drive from Cascade. There's the trailhead kiosk. There was just a skiff of snow, but ice underneath. Slippery.


There used to be a road here, but has slid and filled. Due to the recent weather, the tread was holding some ice, making for tricky walking in spots. Interestingly, we were following bootprints.

We passed several opportunities to jump onto steep access ridges, instead enjoying the mellow walk up the 'road'. Contrast that with the steep hillside on the left, which has similar steepness to our descent route.


Pretty soon we were actually moving away from the summit, so changed our tactic and left the road. After a short, steep crossing of a stream gully, we were then working our way up fairly open slopes of a ridge that would eventually lead us to the top.


Views were popping, despite some low-hanging clouds.


We had worked our way around to the south off the peak, so there's Thunderbolt.


And Reed Ranch.

We had seen various signs of wildlife below. As we got higher, we saw tons of deer.

Two years ago, we snowshoed Sister Creek Peak, the peak on the right. Last year, we skied Goat Creek Peak, the little peak just left of center. Trailhead

We were surprised when we found the remnants of a lookout of the summit. In Points of Prominence, this lookout is listed as Teapot Dome. It was built in 1930, but in 1948 the cab was moved to Miners Peak.

There was a breeze on top, so we chose to descend a bit before enjoying our lunch.

After lunch, the ridge we were following got much narrower. And steeper. Our 4.4 mile climb took just 1 mile to descend. Slippery and demanding. Trailhead

Map. We went counter-clockwise. Note that this could probably be done from Reed Ranch (and the ridge including Point 5256 looked pretty cool), but we had pencilled in a possible second peak up Buckhorn Creek.

The drive home was equally slippery. It was nice (not required) to have four-wheel drive, and the brand new studs were still sliding around a bit.

When we got out onto the flats near Cascade, John spotted several bald eagles.

All and all, a great January outing.


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