A hike to the summit of Tod Mountain is like a pilgrimage each summer. the lifts open in late June and by mid-July the snow is clear and the meadows are green. Early wildflowers emerge as soon as the snows melt, then a second wave bloom in July. The height of the wildflower bloom is usually about the start of August. We hike a loop on the mountain sometime in July or August. This year we hiked in mid-July. Our route up is almost always the same – 2 (Crystal Bowl) – 5 (Top of the World) – 10 (West Ridge) – 11 (Tod Peak). On the way up Little Headwall, forget-me-nots graced the trailside.
From the top of the Crystal Bowl we followed a double track and then a single track to West Ridge and passed by a wet meadow below a succession of pump hills.
The end of the West Ridge Trail is at a junction of several trails, including the West Bowl Trail and the Backside Trail. The summit stands due north.
After a wet spring, the upper parts of the mountain were particularly green. For this day, we did not climb to the summit, nor visit the lake, we wound through the wet meadows and came back by the West Bowl Trail.
We took Trail 7 down toward mid-station, but the trail should have been closed because there is a large construction zone at the bottom end and the regular trail signage had been removed. The hikers in front of us and others behind us missed the connection trail to mid-station and followed the roads down through a series of construction areas, then had to figure out a way back up from the top of Challenger. We regretted paying $25 for a lift pass to work our way through dug up areas full of equipment. We have found the trail markings to be missing at other times in the past too. We enjoy hiking Tod Mountain, but Sun Peaks Resort could be more professional in providing trail signage for hikers.