Sourdough Mountain is a great hike to some of the best
views in the North Cascades. The trailhead, at Diablo, is at only 900'. The
route goes up the south side of the mountain and so it melts out early. There
is a lookout on the summit. The trail is steep but switchbacks at a reasonable
grade. These are some of the reasons to do this trip. The only reason not
to do it is the 5200' gain. This is not a hike for those in less than good
shape. My one trip up was back in 1994. I convinced Kathleen to join me.
I don't think she had ever gained that much elevation in one day but she
did just fine. Due to the elevation gain the trail was not crowded even in
July. My overwhelming memory is of endless switchbacks through deep forest.
I recall coming to a creek in more open terrain and finding several groups
camping there. Beyond the creek the way was much more in the open. Thus far
the views were mostly to the south.
We hit snow just before the ridge top. Boot prints made it easy to find
the route there after. From the ridge top the views became spectacular. Although
the summit is just under 6000' it seemed as if all of the North Cascades were
visible. We were fortunate to have a sunny day and spent a long lunch on
the summit. It has been nearly nine years since my visit and another is well
over due. Round trip was 11 miles with 5200' gained. Below are pictures from