Southwest Ridge via Gray Copper TrailPosted On:
2020-09-14, By: supranihilestInfo:
From the Gray Copper Trailhead hike up FS 889 for .75 miles until the road ends at a 4-way intersection and the trail begins. The trail continues up past the Vernon Mine, and is easy to follow. Besides one very short section it's all snow free. Eventually the trail ends at the Vernon Mine Road, which I followed a short distance up towards the pass with Red Mountain, eventually running into a chain strung across the road. I crossed the chain and turned left, heading straight up the southwest ridge. It's unrelentingly steep but not difficult, mostly grass and kitty litter scree. Below the summit there's a bit of possible scrambling, but it can probably be avoided. The rock is poor in this section and the snow here can be avoided with ease. Descend back to the road, then to the mine, then to the trail. The trail is a bit faint where it dumps onto the road but there's a cairn and probably the best indication is a bunch of old logs embedded in the road nearby. Gray Copper Falls was super weak and not worth hiking up to see right now; if the falls interests you go in the spring or early summer when flow is higher.