Sauer’s Mountain

Trail Highlights:Mountain views; wildflowers
Round-trip Distance:≅ 6.00 miles / 9.70 km
Location:Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest,
Stevens Pass / Wenatchee Valley, Washington North Cascades


Ancestral lands of the šnp̍əšqʷáw̉šəxʷ, or, Wenatchi
Directions:
  • On U.S. Route 2 between Leavenworth and Cashmere, Washington, turn left from eastbound/right from westbound between Mileposts 103 and 104 onto a bridge where signed for Peshastin
  • Immediately after crossing the bridge, bear left onto Main Street
  • Following signage for Peshastin, continue on Main Street 1.10 miles/1.80 km as it curves right, crosses beneath a railway, turns left, and becomes North Road
  • Turn right onto Anderson Canyon Road
  • Proceed 0.60 miles/1.00 km to parking lot on left at end of Anderson Canyon Road
  • Required Pass:None. The parking lot and much of the trail are on private property, but donations are accepted at the trailhead.
    Additional Trail Info:Washington Trails Association

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    Sauer’s Mountain is known for its lavish spring wildflower display set against expansive mountain views. Here, lupines (likely bigleaf lupines, Lupinus polyphyllus), one of its most abundant wildflowers, lean out from the trailside.
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail,
    May 06, 2017.

    Sauer’s Mountain (also known as Sauer Mountain) is named for Leonard Sauer, whose family owns much of the mountainside and whose labor of love resulted in this popular trail that is open to the public throughout the hiking season.  The trail showcases the montane forest characteristic of the Cascades’ eastern slopes, alternating between pine woodlands and ranging meadows.  Situated in the North Cascades’ Entiat Range, Sauer’s Mountain affords sweeping vistas of its neighboring Entiats and, across the Wenatchee Valley below, the Central Cascades’ Wenatchee Mountains.  The mountain is best known for its spring wildflower display, which encompasses an impressive multitude of species.  The trail forks near the trailhead and climbs rigorously to the mountain’s shoulder, where it forks again into a loop that undulates more moderately on either side of the ridge before rejoining and steepening near the summit.  Beyond the summit, the trail continues a short distance higher up the ridge to Point 3172 and then continues as a mountain bike trail.

    Because the parking lot and trailhead are located on the Sauers’ private property, no state or federal pass is required to access the trail; however, cash donations are accepted at the trailhead.  The family expressly requires that all dogs be leashed.  Because the trail is quite popular during the spring wildflower season, consider visiting early or on a weekday to ensure a spot in the small parking lot at the trailhead and a less peopled experience on the trail.

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    From the trailhead, the trail forks and climbs steeply to either end of a massive stone shelf on the side of the mountain, where it joins a loop at the top. The left (south) and longer fork curves westward and provides views across the valley to the Wenatchee Mountains, while the right (north) fork leads through lush forest above another secluded dell.
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail, April 28, 2019.
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    The south (left) fork from the trailhead quickly climbs to views of the orchard-filled Wenatchee Valley below and snow-capped Wenatchee Mountains beyond. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017.
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    To the northeast, the trail provides glimpses of the Entiat Mountains, which include Sauer’s Mountain in their southern reaches. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017.
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    Along its length, and particularly along the north fork that accesses the loop from the trailhead, the trail ducks in and out of dense woodland. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, April 28, 2019.
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    Just below the summit, a logging road appears to obliterate the trail. A small cairn across the road marks an improvised route up the bank and back to the trail above. Thankfully, the logging is not a clearcutting operation, but is leaving enough selected trees to maintain an open forest that is natural to the area and better able to withstand wildfires.
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail, April 28, 2019.
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    The summit affords a panoramic view of the Wenatchee Mountains, which are an arm of the Cascade Mountains. The Wenatchee Mountains’ Stuart Range, which includes the peaks and lakes known as The Enchantments, is seen here on the far left. Icicle Ridge reclines along the center. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017.
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    Stars of the central and eastern Washington spring, balsamroots (here, arrowleaf balsamroots, Balsamorhiza sagittata) bloom across the sunny mountainside meadows in golden masses.
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017 and April 28, 2019.
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    Other wildflowers are also abundant along the trail, including, clockwise from top left, lanceleaf springbeauties (Claytonia lanceolata), trumpet bluebells (Mertensia longiflora), yellow avalanche-lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum), bulbiferous prairie-stars (Lithophragma glabrum), fern-leaved desert-parsley (Lomatium dissectum), small-flowered prairie-stars (Lithophragma parviflorum), ball-head waterleaves (Hydrophyllum capitatum), and heart-leaf arnicas (Arnica cordifolia).
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017 and April 28, 2019.
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    Scattered other blooms accent the slopes here and there, including, clockwise from top left, showy phlox (Phlox speciosa), peas (Lathyrus sp.) or vetches (Vicia sp.), panicled death camas (Toxicoscordion paniculatum a.k.a. Zigadenus venenosus), Oregon, or, western wood anemones (Anemone oregana), harsh paintbrushes (Castilleja hispida), and holly-leaf Oregon-grapes (Berberis aquifolium a.k.a. Mahonia aquifolium). Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017 and April 28, 2019.
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    The trail continues beyond the summit to the slightly higher Point 3172 (considered by some to be the true summit) with similar mountain views and marked by a large cairn, beyond which it continues downward as a mountain bike path. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, May 06, 2017.

    © 2018-2024 Anthony Colburn. Images may not be used or reproduced in any form without express written consent.

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