• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Early Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 1-15. During the drawdown, boats with trailers will not be able to launch or take boats off the water. Hand-launched vessels will still be able to launch. More »

  • Cascade River Road will be open as normal through fall/winter 2014

    Cascade River Rd. will be open in 2014 until snow conditions make it impassable to vehicles, as normal. The road closure that was planned to begin September 8 has been postponed beyond 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances. More »

  • Lone Mountain Fire - National Park Service Trail Closures

    The Lone Mountain Fire in North Cascades National Park is approximately 5 mi NW of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. Boulder Creek Trail is closed. More »

Climbing Conditions - Pickets

Climbing conditions for peaks in the northern and southern Pickets, including Challenger, Luna, West McMillan, etc, can be found below. For conditions on other climbs, return to Planning a Climb.

Condition reports come from climbing and wilderness rangers, the voluntary climbing register, and other climbers. To make a climbing report, please email the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. Please include the route, snow level, any hazards encountered (or not), peak(s) attempted, and whether your party successfully summitted.

All of the climbing routes in the park complex are located in wilderness, but some are wilder than others, and there may be limited or outdated information. Use these reports as a baseline, but plan for changing conditions and a true adventure. On many routes, the discovery, physical stress, and route-finding challenges are half the fun.



Peak/Route Conditions Date Author
Terror Basin/West McMillan Spire

Terror Basin and West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek Approach -- August 11th 2013

Approach route into Terror Basin is in "standard" condition and completely snow-free until just before the drop into the Terror Basin bivy sites. Decent to the bivy sites is either on very steep (50 deg +) snow or on loose 4th class rock scrambling. Standard bivy area is fully melted out. Terror Glacier appears pretty broken at this point, but groups have successfully climbed Inspiration and W. McMillan Recently. Blueberries getting ripe on approach!

West McMillan Spire – West Ridge: From the glacier up it was all snow climbing until ridge crest on Aug 7th. No snow from there up, just standard N. Cascades scrambling.

08/11/2013 Climbing Ranger

All climbers should bring blue bags for all trips in the alpine and be prepared to use them. Leave the alpine clean for your next climb and for your fellow climbers.

Current road conditions extend the approach distance to access the northern Pickets via Hannegan Pass. For conditions of Hannegan Road (Road 32) in Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest see here.

8/25/2013 Ranger

Email an updated report for routes in the northern or southern Pickets.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.