I've always wanted to climb Little Arethusa and there is no better time than when the larches are turning yellow.
From the trailhead south of Little Arethusa, Dinah and I followed the path on the right side of the creek. After the trail crosses the creek, it splits and we took the left fork. The trail meandered through colorful larches before climbing to an open ridge below Little Arethusa.
Instead of working our way around to the lower slope farther west (where, it turns out, there's an excellent trail going up the mountain), we headed directly to the ridge crest. On the crest, though, we found what must be the most dramatic view of the ridge; it showed a terrific drop on the east side. We followed the ridge to the summit.
After a short stay on top of Little Arethusa, we followed the trail down the south slope, but instead of retracing our steps all the way back to our car, it appeared feasible to continue directly to the creek. This route tempted us for two reasons. Not only would it be shorter and therefore quicker, but it would take us through a thick stand of larches. Travel was easy and enjoyable through the towering, yellowing trees.
As we descended, the larches gave way to evergreens. We encountered some deadfall as we neared the creek, and then we were on the north bank creek trail and back at our car.
Little Arethusa from the highway
On the trail
Beautiful larches everywhere
We leave the larches behind
Arethusa Cirque behind us
Little Arethusa ahead
Dinah and I on the lower slopes (photo courtesy of Karl Scholl whom we ran into)
Heading to the ridge crest
Impressive cliffs before the summit (mouse over for a closer look)
Following the trail left of the crest
Looking back. Storm Mountain on the left.
On the tiny summit
Heading down the south slope
Looking across Arethusa Cirque
An enjoyable hike through the larches lay ahead.
Through the larches
82 J/10 Mount Rae
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