Scorpion Mountain offers a 360-degree view of the Central Cascades, and the huckleberries and blueberries make this a much underrated fall hike.
Start your hike from the Johnson Ridge Trail. Continue through the forest for pleasant walking along a gentle, undulating ridge. The trail climbs to Sunrise Mountain in about 2 miles: this is where the views begin. Looking north, you can see Glacier Peak, Monte Cristo peaks, and much more.
Continue for about another two miles past Sunrise Mountain; the trail drops before heading up to Scorpion Mountain.
As you approach Scorpion, the ridge narrows and the views become impeccable as peaks on all side of you pop up. 3.5 miles from the trailhead, and 1.5 from Sunrise Mountain, enter indescribable alpine meadows with resplendent wildflowers.
Make your way out of the meadows back into the shade of the trees, climbing steeply up the ridgecrest before dropping back into the meadows that skirt the peak of Scorpion.
At an unmarked junction, head left, climbing the last remaining feet of elevation where 360 degree views await at 5540 foot Scorpion Mountain. You may want to bring out your map to pick out all the summits in view. To the east, look for Poet Ridge, Grizzly Mountain, Mount McCausland, and the Chiwaukums. To the south are Captain Point, Fernow, Daniel, Hinman, and Cathedral Rock. North of you stand Evergreen, Sloan, Benchmark, and Fortune, while to the west lie Baring, Spire, Troublesome, and Rainer.
Extending your trip
From the top of Scorpion, sparkling Joan Lake lies below, enticing you to visit. Returning to the unmarked junction, turn left and drop a steep 500 feet of elevation in just a half mile. The peaceful lake will have you wishing you could stay forever. Adding this detour will make it a 10 mile round trip hike.