Alpine Scramble - Pasayten Peak


Alpine Scramble - Pasayten Peak

Pasayten Peak alpine scramble via Slate Pass trail head to Silver Lake on Trail 498, 3 days and 2 nights.

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  • Strenuous 3, Technical 3
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 12.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 660 ft


From Seattle drive north on I-5 and take exit 230 (Anacortes/Highway 20) north of Mount Vernon, or take I-5 to Darrington then Rockport. Follow Highway 20, otherwise known as the North Cascades Highway over Rainy and Washington Passes and down into the Methow Valley. Turn left on Lost River Rd for 0.4 miles to the town of Mazama. Turn left but stop for a snack at the old-fashioned grocery store. Continue on Lost River Rd and follow it for about 6.6 miles to the end of pavement. The road then becomes FS 5400. Follow for 2.1 miles and turn right to continue on FS 5400 and climb towards Harts Pass. Continue on FS 5400 for 9.7 miles more miles to Hart's Pass where there is a small campground on the left and a ranger cabin on the right. Take a right on FN- 5400 and follow 1.6 miles to the second switchback and trailhead at Slate Pass.

 You can see the trail head at and search for Slate Pass WA. You’ll see Harts Pass Campground and road NF-5400. Drive about 1.6 miles to Slate Pass. The trip will launch from the right (second) switchback at 2:00 pm Friday at the “Slate Pass” marker. Move into expanded satellite view and you’ll see the Buckskin trail 498 going over the ridge (at the snow field) and curve down a rock slide on the North side of the ridge. Follow it north to Silver Lake and Pasayten Peak marker.

Detailed trip plan

We plan to hike at a leisurely pace, taking time to identify and view wild flowers, marmots, take water breaks and photos. We are estimating about 5 pm arrival at big or little Silver Lake and set up camp for dinner. After dinner we’ll decide on the best (easiest and safest) scramble route to Pasayten Peak.

After a good night’s sleep and an early breakfast, we’ll execute our scramble plan and head for the summit. Time permitting, we’ll explore the summit area and determine a return route to camp. Then return back to camp for a swim and dinner.

Sunday morning after breakfast we’ll break camp and return to Slate Pass trail head about 11:00 am Sunday.


Pasayten Peak

  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50

    Green Trails Pasayten Peak No. 18

    USGS Slate Peak

    USGS Pasayten Peak
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Map: Green Trails, Pasayten Peak # 18.
  • Gear List --
    • Bring your 10 essentials, first aid kit.
    • Climbing/scramble helmet, in case we need it.
    • Ice ax, but we’ll decide if we need to take it at the trail head based on any lingering snow conditions in the region.
    • Bring mosquito repellant and sun block, camera.
    • Bring a 16 ft length of webbing, a carabiner and a short 4’ rope section for a safety harness in case we need to clip into a hand line rope. Please run thru the arrow keys at to review the Hasty Harness and Prusik knot.
    • Bring camping gear, rain gear and food for 2 nights/3 days, with a food hanging rope or food barrel.
    • Gaiters and trekking poles not required but recommended.
    • If you have a GPS, feel free to bring it, although the trail to Silver Lake is easy to follow.
    • NW Forest parking pass.
    • I’ll bring a hand line and emergency radio.
Trip Reports