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This cluster of 6 peaks are just northeast of Mount Rainier National Park. With a good eye, you can notice them as far away as Puget Sound. None of these peaks are worth getting to get excited about but they melt out early and have a network of hiking trails, ATV trails and logging roads for some early or late season hiking.
Martin Peak, Virginia Peak, Berry Peak, August Peak & Poch Peaks
Distance: 7+ miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet
Peak Elevations: 4,700 to 5,140 feet
Access Rating: 2
The easiest access point is from the Mowich Entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. From Carbonado, drive Hwy 165 south. In three miles the road will cross over the Carbon River on a high, narrow bridge. In another 0.6 miles you will come to a fork. The left fork goes to the Carbon River Entrance to the park. The right fork is Mowich Lake Road going to the Mowich Lake Entrance (take this one). In 11 miles you will come to the park entrance.
Park past the entrance sign. Look for a trail cutting up the hill where the road bends northbound. This is the old Boundary Trail. Although considered abandoned, you can follow this trail from this entrance to the Carbon River Entrance. Just expect to see fallen logs and debris on the trail. Hike up the trail as high as you like then go off trail to the summit. Drop back to the trail and hike over near Virginia Peak and do the same. Continue on the ridge to the other peaks. On the way to Poch Peak, you will leave the National Park and enter logging territory. A decent path works much of the way up Poch Peak. Route find to West Poch, then walk logging roads back to the east side of Poch. Drop down a few road switchbacks then traverse back into the park to the Boundary Trail as shown on the map. Walk trail back to the car.
Three of the six peaks have over 400 feet of prominence: Martin, Poch and West Poch. The other three do not but are named and at the time, I was trying to climb all the named peaks inside Mount Rainier National Park. Also, Berry Peak with no prominence is the highest of all 6 peaks as it connects with Tolmie Peak. (A good early season route for Tolmie)
West Poch from Poch Peak
Walking the road back below Poch Peak
Florence Peak and Alki Crest
Some cliffs near August Peak
A shot up tower on one of the Poch Peaks summit
Poch Peak & West Poch from Virginia Peak area
Puget Sound region from Poch Peak
Burnt Mountain, Old Baldy and Pitcher Peak on the north side of the Carbon River Valley
My hiking partner for the day
Mount Rainier and Martin Peak with the clear-cut nearly to the summit, the park boundary.