old man’s beard and Rock Creek valley from the summit ridge of Carne Mountain
With the exception of a couple minutes in the hanging basin below Carne Mountain I wasn’t lucky with the light on this hike, it was a drab afternoon. There were even dust-like flakes of snow coming down for a brief spell while I descended. But for a moment on the summit ridge the sun illuminated the snow and gave a bit of depth to the terrain. This is my favorite view from the hike to the top of Carne. That’s Rock Creek valley below. Usually accessed from a different trailhead further down the Chiwawa River Road, a 14 mile (round-trip) hike gets you to some beautiful meadows there. And from a nice campsite in that vicinity, you can reach where I’m standing in five miles and 2,700 feet (although I doubt anyone would hike that far just for Carne). Those are the Entiat Mountains in the distance.
For awhile below Carne, the sun was shining brightly and the larches were stunning against blue sky and snow. I honestly think I prefer the larches just before they reach the prime period. I like the way they look when there are still some green needles, it sets the gold off even more. Take my advice if you’re ever up here during larch season- don’t rush to the summit if you’re worried the light is failing! Take your time in the basin below. The top of Carne Mountain has great views but the basin is more scenic, in my opinion. The larches are more up close and personal. By the way, if you know what you’re looking for you can see Spider Gap in this picture…..
And here’s a westerly view toward Chiwawa Ridge and Buck Mountain (mostly obscured behind the trees). This view is why I wish I would’ve been up here early in the morning versus late afternoon. Chiwawa Ridge is very impressive from this vantage!