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Steep, technical, beautiful, and incredibly remote feeling while being relatively close to civilization.


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Map Key

13.7

Miles

22.0

KM

Point to Point

7,278' 2,218 m

High

3,063' 934 m

Low

5,576' 1,700 m

Up

5,536' 1,687 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

78%

Max Grade (38°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Lake · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Not too long but, not too short. An incredible loop in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest that has challenges for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

Description

There is no official parking/trailhead for Keep Kool Trail so, once you find the exit/entrance to the trail just park your vehicle anywhere alongside Twin Lakes Road. Please keep in mind other vehicles will need to get around your vehicle so park in a manner that is courteous and respectful of other users.

From there Keep Kool Trail is a very old, sometimes overgrown depending on the time of year, and steep "goat path" trail that provides very punctuated access to High Divide Trail. Once you reach the top of Keep Keep Kool Trail you'll be greeted with lots of small lakes and plenty of spots to filter water or go for a swim if the weather is nice enough. From there follow the cairns and signs for Tomyhoi Peak Trail. You'll cross a couple wide open rock/boulder fields where the trail is not very well marked. Just follow cairns and look for the steep ridge in the distance, you're on the right path.

You'll know you've reach Tomyhoi Peak Trail when you get to a very short and steep section of singletrack in an alpine meadow. It is very likely some hikers will have to use their hands and arms to assist them making it up this grade. Then once you have made it up this you'll hit a flat meadow for a short distance. Allow yourself to rest up for the challenge ahead.

In the distance you'll see Tomyhoi Peak it is very obvious, tall, jagged, and prominent. There will be a steep scree field like pitch and some scrambling to get to the false summit. From there reaching the true summit is quite difficult and should only be attempted be serious mountain travelers with knowledge of the terrain and how to handle that environment.

The two ways to access the true summit are by down climbing from the false summit, class 1-2 scramble to the true summit, then you would need to down climb, and go back up to the false summit. However, the "safer" alternative is using the glacier to go around and access it from the backside. However, this requires glacier gear and the knowledge of how to navigate that terrain. Depending on how much snowfall has been received and what time of year it is will make the glacier easier or more complex to navigate so take that with caution.

From there re-trace your steps back to the Yellow Aster Butte Trail #686.1 junction and stay on that all the way to the bottom. The last 1-2 miles (depending on how far from the bottom of Keep Kool Trail you parked) of the route is just going to be down the gravel access road (Twin Lakes Rd.). A rather unsensational ending however, might be a great time to relax and reflect on some awesome memories and moments spent in the mountains.

Shared By:

Justin Daniels with improvements by Jesse Weber

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3309

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#216

in Washington

#3,309

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Photos

View from the false summit to the Tomyhoi Peak.
Nov 8, 2019 near Peacefu…, WA
Cooling off with a swim after hiking up to Yellow Aster Butte
May 14, 2015 near Peacefu…, WA

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