Driveway Butte – 5,982 ft
February 26, 2017
Eric and Katie
The original plan was to climb a Washington Hundred Highest mountain – Silverstar Peak (8,800ft). But when we arrived at Mazama in eastern Washington friday night, we discovered the road was closed an extra 7 miles from the trailhead. The WSDOT report online said it was plowed, but that was apparently not true.
Our weather window would close Saturday afternoon when a storm was predicted to come in, and the extra 7 mile approach made it pretty unlikely we could beat the storm. So instead we decided to hike up a closer, shorter mountain below treeline. Driveway Butte fit the bill.
Saturday morning we walked past all the backcountry skiers snowmobiling up the closed highway 20 and soon reached our trailhead. A few hours of snowshoeing brought us to the summit and we had excellent views of peaks in the Pasayten Wilderness to the north. We saw Silverstar as well, and by mid afternoon it was enveloped in clouds as predicted.
We found a good car camping spot that night, and Sunday stopped for a small detour in the wild west town of Winthrop before returning to Seattle.