⭐⭐⭐⭐️⭐️(5 of 5) Trail run/climb from Esmeralda TH (trail head) to Mt. Stuart Summit. To get there from Seattle take I-90 East just past Cle Elum, get off at Exit 85. Cross over freeway heading East on SR 970 for about 10 minutes, then turn (left) onto Teanaway Rd and follow until the pavement ends, taking the right fork which is still Teanaway Rd. (fs road 9737). Take the dirt road to the very end which puts you at the Esmeralda TH.
The run/hike starts out on the Esmeralda trail for .3 miles, then you will come up on the Longs Pass/Ingalls Lake junction (to the right), the trail will climb a total of 2,000′ to Longs Pass (1.4 miles after you leave the Esmeralda trail, you will hit the junction for Longs Pass, to the right). It will be and excellent grade for another 1.2 miles topping out at the Pass. Note, the grade is excellent to run, but for this adventure I recommend saving your energy. From Longs Pass you will run 1,500′ (1.4 miles) down to Ingalls Creek. This is where you will want to hydrate and fill up with at least 64 ounces of water. Then, run down stream for apx 1/2 mile keeping an eye out for the Mt. Stuart climbing trail to the left (it can easily be missed). Once on the trail, get ready for the calf popping steepness for 4,615′ to the Summit. The climbers’ trail will lead you to the Cascadian Couloir which is a fairly steep grade, made a little tougher with all of the sand mixed in with the scree and rock. Once you top out on the ridge you will be just below the false summit, and be careful if there are others above you as the rock is quite loose. Once on the false summit it is a fairly easy get, that includes a little scrambling, to reach the summit.
As you see from the pic above, Jeff Rich and I sucked in a lot of smoke from all of the current Washington state fires, when we started our adventure and hit Longs Pass, we could see Mt. Stuart clearly. By the time we did the long descent down from Mt. Stuart to Ingalls Creek and back up to Longs Pass, you could only get a blurry view of our recent summit. I am praying for the 3 lost fire fighters and that the 1000+ brave men and women currently fighting the battle, can the devastating fires of Eastern Washington under control. (more pics on our fb page).