Forum Index > Trip Reports > Johnson Ridge to Captain Point (Wild Sky) Oct 20, 2015
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RichP
here and there



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here and there
PostWed Oct 21, 2015 12:21 pm 
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I saw this thread inquiring about a trail between Captain Point and Johnson Ridge.

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8018676

My curiosity was piqued. Since I was planning a hike in the area anyway, I decided to check it out.

The hike along Johnson Ridge has been covered in several trip reports already, so I'll focus on the hike out to Captain Point from there.

Once on Scorpion Mtn, the highpoint of Johnson Ridge, follow the trail down toward Joan Lake which skirts the edge a large, flattish meadow. Hike southward down the meadow to it's eastern edge to where the ridge narrows and look for some tread that enters the forest.

Joan Lake while ascending the last bit to Scorpion Mtn.
Joan Lake while ascending the last bit to Scorpion Mtn.
Meadow just below Scorpion Mtn.
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Meadow just below Scorpion Mtn.
The first signs of the trail from Scorpion to Captain Point were this blaze and old pot.
The first signs of the trail from Scorpion to Captain Point were this blaze and old pot.
Walking to the east side of the meadow where the ridge narrows we found some tread.
Walking to the east side of the meadow where the ridge narrows we found some tread.

After about 20 minutes of hiking on this trail, a second large meadow appears.
The trail is not obvious in this meadow, but keep hiking across it to the other side and it picks up again. You may have to zig zag a bit, but it's easy to find.

Soon one arrives to a second meadow. No sign of trail while crossing, but it soon picks up on the other side.
Soon one arrives to a second meadow. No sign of trail while crossing, but it soon picks up on the other side.

The trail continues along the ridge top in forest but drops down before reaching Point 5133 and traverses on its east side at around 4850.' It's important to see a tight group of 3 or 4 switchbacks when dropping off the ridge.

Typical terrain along the ridge between Scorpion Mtn and Captain Point.
Typical terrain along the ridge between Scorpion Mtn and Captain Point.
Some newer blazes appear from time to time.
Some newer blazes appear from time to time.
A small burn that was contained by surrounding meadows.
A small burn that was contained by surrounding meadows.

The trail gradually rises on benches to the basin east of Captain Point where we left it to ascend the north ridge to the summit. One day I'd like to return and continue on toward Valhalla and the PCT.

The trail follows benches when near Captain Point.
The trail follows benches when near Captain Point.
We left the trail at a basin and headed up the north ridge to Captain Point. Scorpion Mtn, Johnson Ridge and much of our route is visible from here.
We left the trail at a basin and headed up the north ridge to Captain Point. Scorpion Mtn, Johnson Ridge and much of our route is visible from here.
Almost to Captain Point.
Almost to Captain Point.
Captain Point 5728.'
Captain Point 5728.'
The trail drops off the ridge before an intermediate point (5133) and traverses east to the basin below Captain Point.
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The trail drops off the ridge before an intermediate point (5133) and traverses east to the basin below Captain Point.
Another point of Captain Point that looks about the same height. A logging road reaches to the saddle between the two.
Another point of Captain Point that looks about the same height. A logging road reaches to the saddle between the two.
A lower peak below Captain Point. Windy Mtn?
A lower peak below Captain Point. Windy Mtn?
Views north from Captain Point.
Views north from Captain Point.

The trip out was quick since we knew the way. We dropped back down to the trail below Captain Point and made our way back to Johnson Ridge where clearing skies motivated us to climb the one hundred or so feet up Scorpion for a second time.

Back in the basin below Captain Point. The east ridge in the rear looks like it would go as well.
Back in the basin below Captain Point. The east ridge in the rear looks like it would go as well.
A large cairn.
A large cairn.
back in the second meadow before ascending back to Johnson Ridge and Scorpion.
back in the second meadow before ascending back to Johnson Ridge and Scorpion.
The eastern edge of the first meadow below Scorpion where the trail becomes visible.
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The eastern edge of the first meadow below Scorpion where the trail becomes visible.
Looking back across the meadow from the trail that drops to Joan Lake from Johnson Ridge.
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Looking back across the meadow from the trail that drops to Joan Lake from Johnson Ridge.
A peak of Glacier from Scorpion Mtn.
A peak of Glacier from Scorpion Mtn.
A view of the ridge between Scorpion Mtn and Captain Point.  the small bump in the middle is Point 5133.
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A view of the ridge between Scorpion Mtn and Captain Point.  the small bump in the middle is Point 5133.
Glacier from Johnson Ridge Trail.
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Glacier from Johnson Ridge Trail.

The trail doesn't look to get much use out toward Captain Point, but my partner found a trekking pole along the way. Let me know if you lost one.

The trip out to Captain Point is about 2 miles each way and is a nice addition to the Johnson Ridge hike. Some blowdown is encountered, but there is little brush and the tread is still in good shape except at meadow crossings. Several pretty pocket meadows are along the way and there is water in the basin below Captain Point.

12.5 miles RT and 4200' of gain.
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Steve Erickson
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 12:47 pm 
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It has been awhile but I have hiked this trail starting from the logging road you mentioned, up to Captains Point and then down into the basin. As you come into the basin from Captains Point on your way back did you see any trail signage? From memory it was right at the forest edge as the basin starts to level out. That is a very beautiful area and it is sad that the logging road is now closed and not accessible any longer.
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RichP
here and there



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here and there
PostWed Oct 21, 2015 12:54 pm 
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Steve Erickson wrote:
As you come into the basin from Captains Point on your way back did you see any trail signage?

I didn't see the signs, but others have mentioned them as well. I looked for them but we may have left the basin before their location to ascend Captain Point.
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Joey
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 4:45 pm 
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The sign I mentioned in the other thread is at a saddle on the ridge just north of the Captain Point 'basin'.
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Nancyann
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 5:41 pm 
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Thanks for the great trip report, Rich P..it sounds like you guys had a fun day!
This is a fun area to explore, with lots of potential. up.gif
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Redwic
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Nice report! I need to check out that trail, sometime.

From Johnson Ridge, in addition to the trail leading to Joan Lake I also recall seeing a different trail veering southward from just before (west of) Scorpion Mountain. Does that lead to Fernow Pot Holes?

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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RichP
here and there



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here and there
PostWed Oct 21, 2015 7:19 pm 
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Redwic wrote:
in addition to the trail leading to Joan Lake I also recall seeing a different trail veering southward from just before (west of) Scorpion Mountain. Does that lead to Fernow Pot Holes?

I saw that trail as well. I have no idea where it goes, but maybe someone else does. I'm curious too.

I wish I had taken a pic of it for reference.
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Steve Erickson
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 7:41 am 
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I am not sure if that other trail off Johnson Ridge you are talking about would lead to Mt. Fernow Potholes. The way I get into the Potholes is not off of the Johnson Ridge Trail to Lake Joan.
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Snowdog
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 9:18 am 
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Nice extension of Johnson Ridge!  I like that trail, not as heavily used as others in the area.  up.gif

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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puzzlr
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 12:41 pm 
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Nice report about a fading trail. That pot looks really heavy duty for camping  eek.gif. At one time this must have been a favorite route for hunters or someone that enjoyed being in the back country.

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Gwen
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 1:58 pm 
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We looked and looked for that tread back in July but couldn't find it. Nice work!

The split on Johnson just west of Scorpion is just a bootpath off the main trail that also goes to the summit (bootpath stays on the ridge top, main trail goes right and sidehills through the meadows before reaching the summit/Joan jct).

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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RichP
here and there



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here and there
PostThu Oct 22, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Gwen wrote:
The split on Johnson just west of Scorpion is just a bootpath off the main trail that also goes to the summit (bootpath stays on the ridge top, main trail goes right and sidehills through the meadows before reaching the summit/Joan jct).

I think Redwic is referring to another trail well before the final climb to the summit. It veers off the ridge and looks to drop down into a meadowy area to the south with a tarn. It's quite visible now that there are no leaves on the vegetation.

I walked that short trail from the summit that joins back with the main trail a bit down the ridge. The views to the north are actually better than from the  top.
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Redwic
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 6:35 pm 
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RichP wrote:
Gwen wrote:
The split on Johnson just west of Scorpion is just a bootpath off the main trail that also goes to the summit (bootpath stays on the ridge top, main trail goes right and sidehills through the meadows before reaching the summit/Joan jct).

I think Redwic is referring to another trail well before the final climb to the summit. It veers off the ridge and looks to drop down into a meadowy area to the south with a tarn. It's quite visible now that there are no leaves on the vegetation.

Exactly. Gwen is thinking further east and left (towards Scorpion summit), while I am thinking further west and right (towards Fernow). Whatever type of trail it is, it is an old one.

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Gwen
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Redwic wrote:
Exactly. Gwen is thinking further east and left (towards Scorpion summit), while I am thinking further west and right (towards Fernow). Whatever type of trail it is, it is an old one.

Gotcha. My bad. I'll look for it next time I'm up there.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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