Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Washington Trails

Have an Adventure in the Enchantment Range—No Permit Required

Scramble a sneak route to the highest mountain in the Enchantment Range on this challenging, 11.3-mile out-and-back in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

To live in Seattle is to have an embarrassment of life-list mountains within a few hours of your door. But only Mt. Stuart couples the alpine rewards of high-profile peaks like Adams and Rainier with the solitude usually found only on weeklong trips—and it’s outside the Enchantments permit zone.

This summit rises more than 5,000 feet from the surrounding terrain, testing quads and lungs alike—but you won’t need to rope up or pack crampons. Stuart is the highest mountain in the Enchantment Range, overlooking the entire Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Some speculate that it’s the largest chunk of exposed granite in the United States. Bonus: You’ll be able to see your entire summit-day climb from the hike in.

From the Esmeralda trailhead, hike the Ingalls Way Trail past several small waterfalls up switchbacks to 6,200-foot Longs Pass at mile 2.5, then descend a rocky climbers’ trail to Ingalls Creek. Cross the creek and find the Ingalls Creek Trail, which parallels the stream. Head southeast along the creek a short distance to a small meadow on the left to set up camp.

Locate the faint climbers’ trail heading northeast before settling in for the night (it can be tricky to find via headlamp during your alpine start). It leads to the Cascadian Couloir climbing route. Mountain goats may mingle with you on your way up the rocky terrain in the class 3, 3,500-vertical-foot, 30-degree couloir. At the top of the chute, continue up talus to a notch east of a false summit. Pick your way across the ridge and up a slab to the summit. Pack a helmet—rockfall (usually goat-triggered) is common.

Guidebook Climbing Washington’s Mountains, by Jeff Smoot ($30, falcon.com)

Permits Required (free at trailhead register). A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead

Contact Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

-Mapped by Kevin Goodenough and Ryan Goodenough

mount stuart
Views of Mt. Stuart from Longs Pass

None
Mt. Stuart

None
Heading up the snowy couloir.

None
Looking towards distant peaks partway up the climb.

None
Mountain goats on the way up.

None
Taking a break to admire the view.

None
scrambling through talus on the way up.

None
Meadows near the base of Mt. Stuart.

None
Camping among the trees.

None
Descending to Ingalls Creek.

None
Longs Pass Trail Junction

None
Parking at the trailhead.

None
Heading up to Longs Pass.