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Mineral King to Sawtooth Pass

Sawtooth Pass has a brilliant perspective of Mineral King Valley, Lost Canyon, Monarch Lakes, and Columbine Lake.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 11.5 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Sawtooth Pass in Mineral King Valley strafes the serrated edge of Sawtooth Peak, the largest prominence in the area at 12,343 ft.... more »

Tips:  Getting There: take Mineral King Road off of 198. It is a twisty, narrow, steep, bumpy grade that takes over an hour to drive 23 miles... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Cold Springs Campground

37 sites. $12/night. Not reservable.

2. Mineral King Ranger Station

Opens around Memorial Day and closes by the end of October, depending on weather. A trail log remains at the station year round.

3. Sawtooth Pass Trailhead

Benchmark elevation for the trailhead is 7,800 ft. There is parking available.

4. Junction to Timber Gap

Go right to Sawtooth. Left goes to Timber Gap.

5. Monarch Creek and Black Wolf Falls

Cross the creek at this point and continue your ascent.

6. Switchbacks

A series of switchbacks steadily rise in elevation through forest and meadows.

7. Junction to Crystal Lakes

Go to the the left toward Sawtooth. Right goes to Crystal Lakes.

8. Lower Monarch Lake

Elevation approximately 10,400 feet. Mineral Peak overlooks the lake. There is an open air toilet.

9. Ascent of Sawtooth Pass

The ascent of Sawtooth Pass is grueling. Endless switchbacks cut through sand and rock slides on an exposed face. This section accounts for about 2,000 ft. of elevation gain. Coming down is a much easier task.

10. Top of Sawtooth Pass

Facing Sawtooth Peak. The serrated edge of the ridge leading to the peak looked like a moderate scramble from the pass, but it is much longer and harder than it looks. Make sure you have plenty of strength and sunlight before attempting the peak. There is no trail that leads to the top.

The north face of Sawtooth Peak overlooks Columbine Lake and... More