Banshee Peak & Cowlitz Chimneys


Alpine Scramble - Banshee Peak & Cowlitz Chimneys

Mount Rainier NP only allows 5 people on a cross-country wilderness permit, so our priority is to help Kitsap scramble students graduate. If that's not you, please do not request permission until Aug. 15. Gorgeous fall hiking, overnight camping (somewhere behind Panhandle Gap) and 2 Class 2-3 scrambles, of Banshee Peak and Central Cowlitz Chimney.

  • Basic Alpine Climb
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 17.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,800 ft
  • Pace: 1000ft/hr

TBD - Morning. We'll pick up permits first and are not sure what time the White River ranger station will open that late in the season. Carpooling encouraged, since parking is limited.

We'll do the pretty and leisurely hike (think stupendous fall color!) to Summerland and head up to Panhandle Gap the first morning. We have a backcountry permit to camp in the alpine zone behind Panhandle Gap and below Banshee Peak near water, so we'll set up camp and go for Banshee Peak. If we have time, we'll scout out the route to Central Cowlitz or Witch's Tower a bit, to see what's in store for the next day.

This will be an exploratory route for us, so there's no guarantee of a summit, but scrambling in Class 3 terrain and/or summiting Banshee will get you credit toward graduation.

We'll pack up camp on Day 2 and head back up to scramble Cowlitz/Witch's Tower, possibly leaving packs in a safe place before the final scramble. Then we'll head back the way we came.

This won't be a super-fast paced activity, but hopefully everyone will be in good backpacking shape by September!


Banshee Peak & Cowlitz Chimneys

  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX

    Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

    USGS Chinook Pass
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Ice Axe (TBD)
  • Camping gear
  • Trekking poles
  • Group gear TBD
  • Harness, prussiks, carabiners TBD
Trip Reports