Climb Mt. Washington

Mt Washington Trail

Summit Mt. Washington (6,255ft). Route 1 aka Standard Route. 6-10hrs Car-to-Car. Class 3 climbing route. Moderate exposure. Great steep snow climbing in early season. Incredible Views.

Follow the driving directions, pass the upper Mt Eleanor parking area and continue until the road dead-ends due to a landslide. Try to leave room for cars to turn around when you park.

Follow the trail which starts just near the lake boulder near the parking area. The trail through the lower slopes of the mountain is easy to follow and occasionally marked with flags (Do not add flags).

The first 3/4 of this route is a hike. Once you cross the upper meadow about 1.5 miles into the hike route finding becomes more difficult due to several blowdowns, and because this is NOT a maintained trail. Ascend the mountain by the path of least resistance via cross country hiking and scrambling gullies and easy ledges until you arrive at the upper basin.

From the upper basin ascend talus and ledges to the summit pyramid. Circle the summit counter-clockwise until you see the ramp leading to the summit. Enjoy some of the best views the Olympic Mountains have to offer.Descend the route.

This is a mountaineering experience and good route finding skills are essential. Carry and know how to use crampons and an ice axe in early season.

For more detailed information, see the wonderful page by Redwic at summitpost.org.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Trip Report / Climbing Beta
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axe in early season
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Activities Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Can knock you on your butt

Mt Washington was one of the first mountains I climbed after moving to the PNW. Coming from a Colorado climbing background I saw the elevation of Washington and thought "no problem, I'll knock it out in a few hours." Like the review states, there is no maintained trail only a climber's path up the forest which, under foggy conditions, can lead you onto expose terrain accompanied by a family of goats. The trail can also get slick and steep while you shwack through the underbrush at times. For those that love scrambling it doesn't get much better, and the views are well worth the cuts and occasional cursing. And plan on 6-10 hours depending on route conditions, your physical fitness level, and knowledge of scrambling in the Olympics. Having a map and/or GPS with a GPS track will make the adventure more enjoyable by assisting you with staying on the route.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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