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Skyscraper Mountain

Difficulty: moderate

8.5 miles

Elevation gain: 1930'

Max elevation: 7050'

Camps: Sunrise

First hiked by me: 2022

This is a hike of three parts, the first of which contains three choices.

First part: hike from Sunrise to the five way junction at Frozen Lake. Take your pick of the northern Sourdough Ridge trail (dramatic, usually crowded), the longer route to the south along the Sunrise Rim trail and Wonderland past Sunrise Camp (mellow meadows alternate with subalpine forest), or the shortest but boring in-between route utilizing a gravel access road. I hiked out along Sourdough Ridge and back via Sunrise Rim.

Second part: from Frozen Lake, take the Wonderland Trail signposted for Granite Creek and Mystic Lake. Crowds will dwindle from here on as most hikers are heading to Fremont Lookout or Burroughs Mountain instead. Descend into the upper reaches of Berkeley Park, cross beneath the hulking cliffs of Burroughs Mountain, then climb to Skyscraper Pass. This is one of the highest points around the Wonderland Trail (the others being Panhandle Gap and Spray Park) and early in the season it requires crossing a steep snowfield with a runout that would not be good times were you to slip here. Visit after the snow has melted, or bring the equipment and skills to cross it safely.

If you want to be done at Skyscraper Pass, that's legit. It's a great spot for lunch with epic views in multiple directions. The hike to this point is 7.7 miles roundtrip with 1500' elevation gain.

Third part: turn right and follow the unofficial but clearly defined boot path up Skyscraper Mountain. This is steep, with loose rock underfoot, and has a few exposed sections near the top, but it's not a technical climb. The views are worth the effort.

Opening with the lede, this is the view from Skyscraper Mountain. From the left: Burroughs, with Skyscraper Pass directly below its right end, Little Tahoma, Big Tahoma, the Winthrop Glacier covered with brown rockfall, then Old Desolate and further to the right Sluiskin Mountain

The view from Skyscraper Pass, with Skyscraper Mountain to the right

The Sourdough Ridge trail

The Sunrise Rim trail

Expect multitudes of marmots along this trail

Burroughs Mountain, viewed from the upper reaches of Berkeley Park

Looking down over the lush lower part of Berkeley Park, with Skyscraper Mountain to the left

Just when I was thinking that this was classic mountain goat terrain, lo, a herd appeared! I immediately thought hard about how these meadows are also bear country, but no luck with that :-)

Steep snowfield crossing immediately below Skyscraper Pass, thankfully short when I visited in late July