Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek
The trailhead is located on a utility easement and a 0.25 mile section near the beginning is on a privately own road. Public easement continues to be a contentious topic so please do your best not to disturb private property. I am checking "Leashed" dogs are allowed, but use your own discretion. Expansion for recreational easement, including expanded parking, is an ongoing process and may be positively influenced by respectful behavior towards the nearby residents.
Cumulus Mountain is #48 of the 120 Chugach State Park Peaks as listed on peakbagger.com. At an elevation of 5815' it is dwarfed by many of the surrounding mountains around the Eagle River Nature Center, but its ridgeline views and relatively moderate distance make it one of the best 5000' peaks in the area.
There is some minor, non-exposed scrambling.
Cumulus is located on the south ridge of Ram Valley and access is gained from the Prudhoe Bay neighborhood. Once in the valley, start looking at the NE slopes of the south ridgeline that terminates with Cumulus. You'll see a singletrack trail going up the slope, which is where you should turn off the valley trail toward the south ridge. There is a small stream crossing that is shallow and fast moving in sections, but there were ample stepping stones to cross without getting wet. It may be possible that on a hot, sunny day that this stream becomes too high to cross using the stepping stones.
Once you gain the south ridge of the valley, it is a fairly pleasant uphill run with views of Rumble, Raina, and Eagle Peaks, Flute and Organ Glaciers, and Eagle River. I recall one section of minor scrambling, but it is very short and not exposed. There is also a very prominent false peak where we had to pull out a map to verify that it was not the actual peak. I have uploaded a picture of the actual peak from this false peak. From the false peak, we followed game trails along the scree until we reached the summit.
It is about 10 miles and 5200' of gain round trip. We are above average runners, in terms of speed, and it took us 8 hours. Again, there are multiple false peaks along the way, so keep going until you reach an apparent final peak on the ridge.
Flora & Fauna
Lots of sheep and/or goats! I've also seen plenty of bears in Ram Valley.
Shared By: Abe H