Climb Cashmere Mountain
Washington › Eightmile Lake Trailhead
Added by Analisa Price
The Enchantments offer some of the best views in Washington. Cashmere Mountain allows you to see them all at once.
To get to Cashmere Mountain, drive east towards Leavenworth on Highway 2 and turn right on Icicle Creek Road. After 8.5 miles, turn left onto Eightmile Road for 3 miles, and park at the Eightmile Lake trailhead.
The hike begins at Eightmile Lake Trail. After 2.8 miles, just past Little Eightmile Lake, reach a junction in the trail and take a right for the Eightmile - Trout Creek trail towards Lake Caroline. The trail begins to climb, with switchbacks weaving through a recovering burn area. At 5.5 miles, the trail crosses over the ridge line and descends to Lake Caroline. Follow the trail around the lake and continue 2 miles to Windy Pass, where your first views of Mount Stuart, Dragontail Peak, and Lake Colchuck come into view across the valley.
Follow the ridgeline northeast to the minor west peak on Cashmere. Pass over to the north side of the ridge line (the back side of the mountain when approaching from Caroline) and traverse across to a saddle just west of the summit. From there, ascend the gully south towards the summit.
The south side of the ridge line may seem like a more obvious path to the summit, but while it's also a non-technical route, it is a more challenging scramble.
Descend the climbing route, being mindful to keep your party close in order to minimize the dangers of rockfall. If time allows, stop by Eightmile Lake on your hike back to the car.
Cashmere is most often climbed as a long, one-day ascent due to limited camping permits. Backcountry permits are issued through the annual Enchantments lottery or at a day-of lottery at the Wenatchee River Ranger District Office. The annual lottery opens in mid-February each year, and the day-of lottery is drawn at 7:45 am. The Eightmile Caroline Zone is generally the least competitive zone, as the trail does not connect with the other 4 zones.
- Hiking attire with warm layers
- Bug Spray
- Crampons and an ice axe in the early season (snow is generally present unit July)
- Backpacking gear and an overnight permit
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Hiking, Rock Climbing
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Spectacular Vantage Point...
... at the Heart of the Wenatchee Range. Walk-in permits for the the Eightmile / Lake Caroline zone of the Enchantments are generally available at the Leavenworth Ranger Station should you want to overnight. In early season, when large amounts of snow is still present, the North Face of Cashmere can be quite intimidating and the direct ridge scramble is favorable. On the North Face expect steep snow fields with precarious run-outs in early season and on the direct ridge route expect exposed Class 3 scrambling. Some parties opt to use a glacier rope for added safety and belays for less experienced party members. Happy climbing!
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