Climb north from the Basalt Ridge trailhead, passing huge old growth Douglas firs as squirrels chatter above. Go right at the first intersection on the well-signed Basalt Ridge Trail. Optional: Go left to tag Basalt Peak on a 2.2-mile side trip.
Go straight at the next intersection. The trail becomes fainter as you follow the ridgeline through lodgepole pines, firs, and occasional cedars, with views between the trees over Rock Creek Valley and Glacier Peak to the west. Scout the trailside for huckleberries in the summer.
Continue north when you reach the pass, where blue gentians bloom in late summer. Bypass the heavily used trail that leads to the lower meadows and campsites, continuing to follow the ridgeline instead. Wide panoramas of the Glacier Peak Wilderness open up all around as you climb, spreading from Devil's Smokestack to Entiat Mountain. Turn right at the next junction to reach the summit of Garland Peak (2 miles round trip), or head back after taking in the earlier ridgeline views. Retrace your steps to the trailhead.