Jacks Pass

Frog Mountain and the Upper Beckler Watershed

Having studied the weather forecasts, Saturday was projected to be a dry day as a lull between storm systems. The snow level would also drop so I figured some early snowfall shots might be in order. During my visit last week, I noticed a mountain just east of Jacks Pass which had red tinted meadow slopes near the summit. The mountain is named Frog Mountain and, from looking at maps, it could be scaled halfway on a series of abandoned logging roads.

On my way to Jacks Pass, I could see that portions of the very top did have fresh snow and the weather seemed to be clearing out more. I was hoping that some visual navigation would be possible once the old roadway faded away. The first challenge was finding the entry point of the road. From Jacks Pass, the old road begins clearly but that leads to a huge open area littered with way too much target practice debris- shell casings, clay pigeons.

Frog Mountain from the upper slopes of the San Juan Hill ridge line
Traveling along the old logging road on Frog Mountain
This made me very nervous because I didn’t want to be heading back only to be BEHIND some people firing guns. Anyways, I found the entry point which had grown over, making it less obvious. Once on the old road, however, it was still fairly well defined. Young alders are filling in the road surface but the going isn’t too bad. Without signage, some decisions had to be made at a few of the road spurs but I made good time along the road section.

I reached what I decided was the end of the road in short order but was not encouraged by what I saw. Above me, the more mature forest above the regenerating clearcut I was in was pretty thick, and there was no direct line of sight to the upper slopes. Being alone and without my GPS, I thought better of continuing. After that decision, I did spy a road spur that continued further upslope. I determined that one spur dead ends in a clearcut but the second spur is promising. I will have to check it out some other time.

I made it back down fairly quickly and still had most of the afternoon so I explored some of the other Forest Service roads in the area. Always good to know what’s out there for future pursuits!

Fresh snow on the upper slopes of Frog Mountain
Fall color along an avalanche track on Troublesome Mountain
Rugged slopes of the Troublesome Mountain massif
Fir seed cones
Boulder Creek
Waterfall on Boulder Creek
Waterfall on Boulder Creek

The next storm system starting making its appearance in the late afternoon and on my way home, I across two rainbows at two different locations. Pretty cool!..

Rainbow just outside of Gold Bar

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