- Cabinet Mountains
- There weren’t any obvious sites, but you could easily improvise
- There is no trail
We attempted two different ways of climbing the saddle, with the first one far better. This one involved a relatively steep climb through the forest northwest of the Little Spar Lake outlet, and perhaps we should have chosen an even steeper route. The reason for that is that the offshoot from Savage Mountain that makes up the saddle is mostly granite and alpine meadows, which is far easier to traverse than the woods. Taking a steep approach, you’ll get there in a quarter-mile. Views are somewhat limited, but enjoyable nonetheless, consisting of granite rock formations, wildflower, meadows, and lots of talus. At first climbing a bit more, then dropping, you get to the saddle, with views of either lake elusive.
We continued across the saddle and started to climb Vertigo Ridge. Alas, covered with boulders and talus it proved canine incompatible. It did, however, offer great photo opportunities of Horseshoe Pond. Crossing steep snowbanks, we then dropped down to the lake, which was as pretty up close as it was from afar, framed by granite.
On the way back we moved south on the saddle, hoping to catch a glance of Little Spar Lake from atop. We had no luck initially, but stumbled across a meadow covered with glacier lilies. Following this turned our direction more northeastwards, and as we dropped the lilies gave way to beargrass and huckleberries. The terrain steepened even further and got more and more brushy, with spruce saplings, mountain ash and the dreaded slide alder replacing low-growing shrubs. Positively, though, we managed a few slightly filtered shots of Little Spar Lake. The descent then gets awfully steep and tedious the closer to the lake you get. Once near the lake, you won’t come across the faint angler trail until you are very close to the outlet where all the campsites are. I do not recommend this return route.