Hello, people of ClubTread. Iíve been reading this forum for the last ~12 years, and got a lot of useful information regarding local trails and trail conditions, but never posted anything in return. I think, I should start creating some content too. Perhaps, someone will find it useful some day.
Iím slowly going through my 2016 season hiking list and this Saturday we hiked Silverdaisy mountain trail. I chose Silverdaisy as Saturday destination because it had best weather forecast (less rain) and because there are mines and mining prospects in the area. Iím fascinated with mines and mining in general and like to explore them at every opportunity, also Iím rock and mineral collector.
Before the hike I read everything I could find about mining in the area, what kind of mineralization there is, what kind of ore there is, how big are the deposits, who mined them, when, where and how, what are the exact locations of adits/pits and how to find them. Armed with this extensive knowledge of regionís mining history me and my friend headed out to Silverdaisy early Saturday morning. It was pouring in Coquitlam, but we kept hoping that the rain will stop when we reach the trailhead. We almost missed turn to Sumalo Grove parking lot, because the entrance was gated and the sign ďSumalo GroveĒ removed. Perhaps, instead of deep research of mining in Upper Skagit valley I should have read trail conditions and road closures reports. Turned out that parking lot has been closed for at least a year now because of dangerous trees. So, we parked near the gate and walked extra 300-400m to the trailhead. By the way, it didnít rain there.
Bridge over Skagit river.
I wasnít sure if we will have enough time and\or energy to visit all mining sites in the area, but decided that we should see at least one, most easily accessible. It is located along Skagit River trail some 100 or 200m past the fork with Silverdaisy mtn. trail. Thatís what we found there.
Remnants of a cabin.
Remnants of some other wooden structure quite high on a cliff.
Waterfall and entrance to the adit (black hole on the left)
The entrance is boarded up, but is possible to go inside (we didnít)
We took a few pictures and returned to Silverdaisy trail. After the fork with Skagit River trail it switchbacks at somewhat steeper grade to a small rockfall area after that it straightens and flattens out. A sign at the first switchback, warning about mining activity. The sign is not too old, but there is no active mining anywhere on the mountain now.
The weather continued to change erratically from low grey clouds to blue sky with white puffy clouds and back to grey skies, though down on the trail everything looked consistently gloomy.
It didnít rain at the time of the hike, but it did rain before and all the trees and bushes generously showered us with accumulated rainwater. Pretty soon we were all soaking wet and my boots were full of water, which trickled there from darn bushes. Also, to add some adventure into otherwise boring trail, winter storms fell a bunch of trees across the path. Huge mature trees, small trees, medium sized trees, by one or in groups. The first group of fallen trees occurred about 3 km from the fork with Skagit river trail. Climbing over them or detouring through thick bushes slowed us down somewhat.
Blowdown on the trail.
Trail became bushier when it reached old airtram cut, but was still easy to follow.
We decided to take a break when we reach the old deactivated road.
Changing into dry clothing and having a cup of hot tea (and wringing water out of my socks) was the best part of the trip so far. The going went easier after the break. Old road was not bushy, so no more water going into my boots, clouds lifted a bit and changed to blue skies more often.
After a while we reached the saddle between Silverdaisy mountain and Claimstake mountain.
View South-East from the saddle. I think the mountain we see is Eastpoint Peak.
From the saddle trail goes left and up the ridge. Sign on the tree, pointing in the right direction.
After the saddle the views really open up and walking is nice and easy. There is no well defined trail, but it is not necessary, since one simply needs to follow the ridge to itís highest point. The weather improved greatly. We got some sunshine and blue skies.
View South-East down the ridge.
Silverdaisy summit is behind this bump. Not very far.
Gained summit ridge, looking south to Eastpoint Peak and Claimstake mountain (the red one on the right).
This is the bowl, mentioned in descriptions, where any path will lead to the summit eventually, but the left approach is shorter and more direct, while the right one is longer and goes via all sub-summits.
We took the left route. Almost there.
Views from sub-summit. Well, the fact that it was a sub-summit and not the real summit we discovered a bit later, but for the time being I was convinced that this was a real summit.
Ah, itís so nice to take wet boots and socks off!
We had lunch at the top, enjoying great views and nice weather. But the latter, nice weather, didnít last. While we were still finishing the last sip of tea large dark cloud with a veil of rain was quickly approaching from south-south-west.
When we were ready to go back I suddenly discovered another bump on the ridge, which turned out to be the real summit with a cairn and a summit register. We were not able to open register, it was closed too tight. But Iím pretty sure that notebook inside is dry. :-)
Some views from the real summit.
There is Mt.Outram somewhere in those clouds.
The rain cloud went by just slightly drizzling on us.
Looking down and south-east. Eastpoint Peak, small shallow lake and mining camp below. I think it is AM (AM Breccia ?) prospect. Would be interesting to visit, but this time we decided to skip it, because there was another rain-cloud approaching.
Travel back to the car was uneventful, the same wet bushes and sticky, scratchy, wet fallen trees on a trail, also a lot of bear scats and no other people. The weather kept changing from rain to sunshine and back to rain, but then it got stuck in sunshine mode.
Silverdaisy and Hatchethead mountains.
We were back at the car at about 3pm. The hike took 7 hours, which was faster than I expected, after reading trip reports and descriptions. Perhaps, I should have visited more old mine sites after all. We definitely had time for that. On the other hand, that mountain is pierced with mine tunnels like a piece of swiss cheese. Iíll make another trip there just to explore old mines and prospects.
P.S.: aargh, it's so hard to use just 25 pictures!