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TRAILHEAD: Section 3 Lake TH. Take I-5 S from Seattle to exit 154A for I-405 N (Renton) to exit 4, merge onto WA-169 S to Enumclaw, turn left onto WA-410 E/Roosevelt Ave into WA-123 S, turn left on US-12 E 15 mi to White Pass, then 9 mi more to milepost 158V, turn right on paved Tieton Reservoir Road (FR-1200, signed for Clear Creek Recreation Area) 5 mi easily and quickly winding around Clear Lake. Turn right on gravel Cold Creek Road (FR-1205, signed for Section 3 Lake) more than 2 2 ml, turn left on FR-742 for 2 ml, turn right on FR-1204 (correct signage, follow signs and arrows when in question) 32 ml, fork right to the end at the circle (roughest road section: narrow, rocky, few pullouts, 2WD okay but high-clearance AWD recommended). From Portland, take I-5 N to exit 68 (Morton/Yakima), turn right on US-12 E 90 mi, turn right on Tieton Road and follow like above (130 mi, 3 hours from Seattle; 180 mi, 3V hours from Portland).

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Tieton Peak closer in the middle with Gilbert Peak above the Conrad and Meade Glaciers to the left and Ives Peak above McCall Glacier to the right, all from lavender meadows.

ROUTE: Walk by the kiosk and old sign for Bear Creek Mountain on Trail 1130 (rutted at times) past Section 3 Lake (more a small tarn pond) immediately, then easily traverse SW and S below the E side of the main ridge. Move through a few smaller pines and then across tiny creeks and open meadows where you can see Bear Creek Mountain ahead. At more than 1/2 mi from the TH arrive at a juncture where you stay right (WSW) at the sign posted to an old tree stump on Trail 1130A. The trail will be rockier, dustier, and steeper before and after the intersection as you ascend the wide, rocky gully to the high ridge. Encounter a micro-break in the pitch and then it’s steep again with wildflowers mixing in for the remainder.

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