Glacier Peak Wilderness: Glacier Peak Sampler

Get climbers'-eye views on this adventurous ramble to the peak's base--or summit--on this 3- to 5-day trip.
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Get climbers'-eye views on this adventurous ramble to the peak's base--or summit--on this 3- to 5-day trip.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 58.2

Waypoints

GPS001

Location: 48.0582313537598, -121.2880859375

To begin this 24.7-mile lollipop loop, follow North Fork Sauk Trail 649 along its namesake river—rarely visible through dense Douglas fir, cedar, spruce, and hemlock—for 5.4 miles to decrepit Mackinaw Shelter.

GPS002

Location: 48.0415840148926, -121.214668273926

Remote campsite with privy

GPS003

Location: 48.0312156677246, -121.193534851074

Old Mackinaw Shelter. From here, it's a 3,000-foot climb in less than 3 miles to alpine slopes that go kaleidoscopic with aster, paintbrush, and lupine in July.

GPS004

Location: 48.0365333557129, -121.15788269043

As you approach the Pacific Crest Trail, views open up to Pilot Ridge (south) and Sloan Peak’s glacier and sharp summit (west). Turn E on PCT to 5,904-foot White Pass.

GPS005

Location: 48.0341682434082, -121.148864746094

Possible camp sites near White Pass

GPS006

Location: 48.0344314575195, -121.148880004883

Just N of the pass, take an unmarked user trail 1.5 miles across grassy slopes east of White Mountain. Head for the saddle just above Foam Creek.

GPS007

Location: 48.0474662780762, -121.133682250977

Climb N along easiest gradient to stellar campsites.

GPS008

Location: 48.0508003234863, -121.134315490723

Nice campsite beside an unmapped tarn. You have two main options from this camp:
1) Loop back to your car via the White Chuck River basin. If so, return to Waypoint 7 and skip to Waypoint 14.
2) Go for Disappointment Peak and/or Glacier Peak. Head NE. It's roughly 11 miles round-trip and 3,800 feet to the top, via Glacier Gap.

GPS009

Location: 48.057731628418, -121.125816345215

Camp on rocky saddle near ponds with photo-contest views of Glacier Peak. Note: The White Chuck Glacier is now much smaller than maps show. From here, head N, eventually making your way on the glacier. You'll need an ice axe, crampons, and experience climbing class IV talus.

GPS010

Location: 48.0827674865723, -121.108551025391

Exposed, panoramic tent site on south ridge of the mountain

GPS011

Location: 48.0993118286133, -121.1103515625

The best way up is to continue N via Disappointment Peak

GPS012

Location: 48.1065559387207, -121.113090515137

After the 9,755-foot summit of Disappointment, gear down again for the final long slog to Glacier Peak; keep a watchful eye on the wind and weather

GPS013

Location: 48.111888885498, -121.113540649414

The 10,541-foot crown of Glacier Peak; backtrack to Waypoint 12 then turn E for an optional but more interesting route down Cool Glacier (less-experienced climbers should rope up) then return to Waypoint 11. Hop back on your approach route.

GPS014

Location: 48.0473594665527, -121.133865356445

To return to your car, head 3 miles west across the White Chuck River basin

GPS015

Location: 48.0556221008301, -121.154357910156

Turn L (South) on PCT

GPS016

Location: 48.0514678955078, -121.156379699707

Tent site by PCT

GPS017

Location: 48.0461158752441, -121.177803039551

Red Pass; continue S to Trail 2000

GPS018

Location: 48.0361557006836, -121.158569335938

Turn R onto Trail 2000; follow route back to Trail 649 and trailhead