The trail begins at the Snoqualmie Lake trailhead, following #1002 to for about a half-a-mile to the Quartz Creek junction. Take the eroding and extremely rocky logging road up past occasional views of the steep-sided Quartz Creek Valley to an unsigned spur road at the two-mile mark. This junction is large and impossible to miss. Continuing on the road will take you to Blethlen Lakes, choosing the rougher, steeper spur will take you toward to Rooster Mountain. The former road to Rooster Mountain becomes progressively more trail-like as trees and underbrush close in and narrow the path. After another two miles and three large switchback the trail forks once again. The path to the left is the now-overgrown and largely inaccessible trail to Rooster Mountain summit, while the path to the right leads to the roads end and a nice little viewpoint. Sadly, like others before us, we were forced to settle for the viewpoint.
This hike was a good reminder of what hikingwithmybrother.com is all about. Guidebooks are an excellent resource, but all too often they are woefully out of date, and it falls to the hikers on the ground to publish updates on the condition of any given hike. Despite being a guidebook favorite, cropping up in several different publications, there is no trail to the summit of Rooster Mountain. The old bootpath has been largely reclaimed by the forest. Of course, you can still bushwhack your way to the top, or snow could provide an easy path over the blocking vegetation. But, if youre expecting a trail, your hopes will be dashed roughly three-quarters of the way to the top.
On the upside, the 4,000 viewpoint isnt bad. It sports an impressive, if somewhat limited, view of the valleys below, including Bessemer Mountain
, Russian Butte, Mount Garfield as well as Roosters elusive summit. And, if isolation is what youre looking for, Rooster Mountain is a great option: very few hikers attempt this trail. On the other hand, reaching our stopping point is a significant amount of effort that might be better spent climbing to other heights. If you are training for a bigger climb, or have the time to hack your way to the top, give Rooster Mountain a try. Otherwise, we recommend skipping this one for greener pastures.
Technically, Rooster Mountain is the unofficial name for a 5,339 prominence between the Quartz Creek Valley and Marten Lake
. There is nothing particularly Rooster-esque about the mountain, instead it seems to have fallen victim of an animal naming craze that swept the area at some point. Nearby Goat Mountain and Dog Mountain must have been christened by the same barnyard animal lover. Each of these three peaks extends a ridgeline down to a central point between Mowitch, Marten, and Cougar Lakes. While some resources refer to Rooster Mountain as The Ark, the unnamed central point between Rooster, Goat and Dog Mountain seems a more apt place to point out the abundance of animal-themed topography.