Big Kangaroo/West Route

A a Grade II, 5.5 intermediate-level rock climb to the high point of Kangaroo Ridge at 8,280 ft. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and views of the North Cascades. Times: 5-6 hrs from the cars.

driving directions

Drive SR 20 (North Cascades Highway) to Washington Pass. Continue 1 mile to the hairpin turn and park in large turnout.

approach & ascent

Ascend along Early Winters Creek, looking for the parallel gullies on the long, west-face of the ridge beneath Big Kangaroo. These gullies are often snow-filled into July.  From before the last large meadow about 0.7 mi from the hairpin turn on SR 20 highway hairpin, ascend the gully or the slope next to it that leads towards the crest south of the summit. 

At 7,500 ft bear left onto a ramp to another gully and continue to the base of the rocky summit area.  Reach the ridge north of the summit by ascending a steep gully and some rock ribs.  Follow the ridge south on its crest traversing on the west face of a block (exposed, small footholds) to a small ledge on its southwest corner.  Continue climbing friction and using small holds along the ridge to the summit. The final bit of climbing is best done on the south edge of the ridge to the summit.


Cars to Summit 5-7 3,180
Summit to Cars 2-3


Standard rock gear. Ice Ax in early season.


  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,180 ft
  • 8,280 ft
  • USGS Silver Star Mtn
  • USGS Washington Pass
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
  • Red Marker
    48.515260, -120.642157
    48.5152602828 -120.642156601
  • Red Marker
    48.518736, -120.617523
    48.5187363479 -120.617523193

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