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Trip Report

Sunrise Peak

South Cascades

Trip Report By

Hiked Aug 23, 2014

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Minor obstacles posing few problems

Road

Road rough but passable

Bugs

No bugs

Snow

Snow free
Camped at the trailhead and started out at 4am to catch the sunrise from the peak. Short, steep, and rutted, almost v-shaped, which was more of a challenge on the way down than on the way up. Trail is well marked except the first 1.0 junction had no arrows. Take a R there to continue up to Sunrise Peak. My husband and I had a cougar encounter just past the junction where our sweeping headlamps caught the yellow eyes about 15 yards from us on the ridge to our R. It moved closer to us but then stopped. We stood our ground for about 5 minutes, keeping our lamps shining it its direction before we continued on our way. It was a bit scary, but we just continued to make noise and kept our bear spray on the ready, just in case (not that we'd be quick enough if a cougar were to jump us, but it made us feel better, haha). Perhaps we were still rattled, but we ended up scrambling halfway up to the top before getting back on the correct trail, identifying what we thought was the boot path described in the book and trail summary. Not recommended. The junction with Jumbo is just around the corner from where we started our ill-advised scramble in the dark and is clearly marked. The views from the top of the peak were amazing, and we witnessed a brilliant sunrise, illuminating Adams, Rainier, St Helens, and eventually Hood with sweeping rays. Still some wildflowers hanging around, mostly aster, lupine, and paintbrush.