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
  • 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 area and trailhead are on private property, but donations are accepted in a secure box.
    Additional Trail Info:Washington Trails Association

    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,

    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.

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

    At approximately 0.33 miles/0.53 km from the trailhead, the trail enters national forest, where it forks and then rejoins on the far end of a massive stone shelf and continues to the summit. The left (south) and longer fork curves along the upper ridge and provides views from the opposite side across the valley to the Wenatchee Mountains, while the right (north) fork leads through a secluded dell directly above the shelf. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    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, Washington.
    To the northeast, the trail provides glimpses of neighboring peaks in the Entiat Mountains, including Humility Hill (left) and Blag Mountain (right). Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    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, Washington.
    Just below the summit, a logging road appears to obliterate the trail. Look for the improvised route up the left side of the bank that may require a bit of scrambling to return to the trail above. Thankfully, the logging was not a clearcutting operation, but left enough selected trees to maintain an open forest that is natural to the area and better able to withstand wildfires. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    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, Washington.
    The trail occasionally climbs steeply, especially near the summit. With varying weather conditions, its surface can range from slippery mud to loose dust and gravel. It is generally easily navigated, but some may wish to bring their traction gear of choice. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    Stars of the central and eastern Washington spring, balsamroots bloom across the sunny mountainside meadows in golden masses. Most are arrowleaf balsamroots (Balsamorhiza sagittata), which are characterized by their individual blooms on multiple bare, unbranched stems rising from basal clumps of large bluish leaves covered with a fine down. Lookalikes lurk among them. In wooded areas, the floral understory transitions to heart-leaf arnicas (Arnica cordatifolia) (upper right) with small, paired leaves along their single, fuzzy stems. Northern mule’s ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis) (lower right) appear here and there with stems bearing both multiple blooms and large, shiny, smooth leaves.
    Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    Myriad other spring wildflowers abound along the trail, including, top row, left to right, plumed false Solomon’s seals (Maianthemum racemosum), common yarrow (Achilia millefolium), trumpet bluebells (Mertensia longiflora), western serviceberries, or, Saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia), fiddlenecks (Amsinckia spp.), bitter, or, Oregon cherries (Prunus emarginata), harsh paintbrushes (Castilleja hispida), and bladder campions (Silene latifolia); second row from top, Oregon, or, western wood anemones (Anemone oregana), larkspurs (Delphinium spp.), Columbian puccoons, or, western gromwells (Lithospermum ruderale), antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), lanceleaf springbeauties (Claytonia lanceolata), holly-leaf Oregon-grapes (Berberis aquifolium), sticky geraniums (Geranium viscosissimum), and silvercrowns (Cacaliopsis nardosmia); third row from top, panicled death camases (Toxicoscordion paniculatum syn. Zigadenus venenosus), ball-head waterleaves (Hydrophyllum capitatum), yellow avalanche-lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum), small-flowered prairie-stars (Lithophragma parviflorum), bulbiferous prairie-stars (Lithophragma glabrum), small-flowered blue-eyed Marys (Collinsia parviflora), showy phlox (Phlox speciosa), slender popcorn flowers (Plagiobothrys tenellus), and various peas (Lathyrus spp.) or vetches (Vicia spp.); and bottom row, Hooker’s, or, racemose pussytoes (Antennaria racemosa), Geyer’s desert-parsley, or, Geyer’s lomatiums (Lomatium geyeri), fern-leaved desert-parsley (Lomatium dissectum), northern biscuitroots, or, Hamblen’s lomatiums (Lomatium farinosum), barestem desert-parsley, or barestem biscuitroots (Lomatium nudicaule), rockcresses (Boechera spp.), rockcresses (Boechera spp.), rockcresses (Boechera spp.), and thread-leaf phacelias (Phacelia linearis). Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    Keep an eye out for the pollinators that frequent the mountain’s floral offerings. Sauer’s Mountain Trail, Washington.
    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, Washington.

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


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