One of the most popular climbs in the North Cascades, Eldorado has a challenging approach hike with exceptional scenery. Endurance for getting to the peak is more of a requirement than technical climbing skill. The knife-edged summit ridge is a classic of many photos

Activity Notes

The climb requires two nights camping at a basecamp, plus one night car camp before the climb.  It is located in the North Cascades National park in northern Washington, about a 6 hour drive and 300 miles from Portland. We will use ropes, ice ax, and crampons as we cross the low angle  Eldorado glacier. Suitable for ICS grades or experienced BCEP grads. Technical level is moderate (Hood level or less) but you need Crevasse rescue training.


Description     (from

"Eldorado Peak is Located in the North Cascades National Park and is on the Washington Top 100 list. Fred Beckey calls this peak "Queen of the Cascade River" considering that it is in the middle of a collection of beautiful peaks. Massively aloof, perched at the edge of the largest contiguous ice-sheet in the lower 48 states not connected to a volcano, the summit has a Himalayan like splendor owing to its remoteness, position, and knife-edge summit ridge. The total climb encompasses a 6,800 feet of vertical feet (not including ups and downs) and can be made through one of two interesting approaches. The climb is not technically difficult, and a number of people climb up each year to experience the thrill of stamping out a "just-wide-enough" path on the summit ridge and looking into the heart of the Klawatti-Inspiration-McAlister icecap. Views into Marble Creek, Dorado Needle, Forbidden Peak, Mount Buckner, Logan, Johannesburg and the other peaks of the Ptarmigan Traverse. It is an exhilarating summit experience, the ridge gives one a feeling of being out in the true alpine environment. This is a mountain that any mountaineer visiting the Pacific Northwest really should see and climb it! "



Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 310 miles
Driving Time from Portland 6 hours
General Route Info summitpost mountain forecast Ercis base camp trip report
Expected Duration Car to car in two or more days
Relevant Books Climbing Washington’s Mountains, by Jeff Smoot Classic Climbs of the Northwest, by Alan Kearney Selected Climbs in the Cascades Vol. 1, by Nelson and Potterfield Cascade Alpine Guide: Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass, by Fred Beckey
Relevant Maps USGS Eldorado Peak and Sonny Boy Lakes Green Trails Cascade Pass Google map
Useful Links