Mount Townsend loop

Summary: This is a gorgeous area, it was one of my favorite trips of the year. Avoid ascending the summit block from the east. Avoid the broken-up, slabby section of rock that is NE of Eagle Lake.


Lindsay, Kevin, and I parked on a the road that forks off of FS Road 6517 right before the Eagle Creek bridge. We hiked up the trail that runs above the south side of Eagle Creek. After half an hour hiking the trail, we left the trail, crossed Eagle Creek, and started up a boulder field that nearly stretches from Eagle Creek to the top of Townsend's east ridge.

Eventually we traversed left off the boulder field to the east side of Townsend's summit block. None of us found a easy route to the top, mine involved a ten foot section of 5th class with some exposure. If I were to do this again, I'd traverse the meadow under the summit and hike up the summit block on its west side.

At the summit we found exceptional views and a 10 year old summit register under the cairn.

On our descent we followed the ridge west until we were above the east end of Eagle Lake. We descended down meadows to a section of wet, down-sloping, broken-up, slabby rock (with some cairns in it). I would definitely avoid this slabby section, one of our party had a scary fall on it (but was not hurt). Below the slabby section we descended through a line of hemlock and cedar down to the lake outlet.

After visiting the cabin on the east side of the lake, we returned to our car via the trail on the south side of Eagle Creek.

Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.