Route Descriptions


Worm Flows | Winter Climbing Route

Length: 12 miles, round-trip

Elevation Gain: 5,699 ft

Trailhead: Marble Mountain Sno-Park

Parking: Sno-Park passes required between Nov 1 - March 31

Permits: Climbing permits required, by advance purchase only, between April 1 - October 31.

Camping: Dispersed camping is allowed on a first-come, first-served basis

Start at the trailhead from Marble Mountain Sno-Park. About 2 miles in, leave the forest and pass views of Chocolate Falls (elevation 3,700'), a 40-foot waterfall along Swift Creek, heading into a barren landscape of mudflows and rock, where wooden signpost guide climbers from timberline to approximately 4,800 ft elevation. Continue to snake up the jumbled lava flow ridge up to the seismic station. The seismic station (elevation 6,200') is below the snow field that leads up to the crater rim.

The route crests the crater's crescent-shaped rim, on a clear day revealing dramatic views of Spirit Lake and Mount Rainier. Head west along the rim to the true summit, a 1/4 mile away at 8,363 feet. Savor more sweet views before turning around for the return trip, hugging Worm Flow Ridge and retracing your route, back to the trailhead.

 

Monitor Ridge | Summer Climbing Route

Length: 10 miles, round-trip

Elevation Gain: 4,500 ft

Trailhead: Climber's Bivouac 

Parking: Northwest Forest Pass required, day passes may be purchased at the trail head

Permits: Climbing permits required, by advance purchase only, between April 1 - October 31

Camping: Camping in designated areas is allowed on a first-come, first-served basis

Start at the Climbers' Bivouac trailhead (elevation 3,700') and follow Ptarmigan Trail (216A) for 2.1 miles, where the route meets the junction of the Loowit Trail. The vault toilet here is affectionately called "Last Chance Bathroom" before the climb continues. As the route steepens, remain in the trees for the next half mile before breaking out into the open (elevation 4,800'). Wooden pole markers usher climbers along the blocky boulders of Monitor Ridge almost the whole way. Save your energy- the majority of the elevation gain is in the last 3 miles to the summit rim. Savor the horizon on a clear day and descend on the route you came, following the wooden pole markers back to the trailhead.