Magic Mountain/South Ridge

A basic alpine climb near the north end of the Ptarmigan Traverse. It's location gives you fabulous views of the North Cascades.

driving directions

Drive to Marblemount on SR 20. Register at the Marblemount Ranger Station. Take the Cascade River Road (Forest Road 15) for 22.3 miles to the Cascade Pass Trailhead, the large parking lot at road's end (3,600 ft).


Follow the Cascade Pass trail for 3.7 miles.  At the pass (5,400 ft), look for a climber's trail to climber's right, bearing SSE.  The climber's trail makes a rising traverse along snow or heather on the flanks of Mixup Peak's east slopes. Continue traversing until you reach the base base of the Cache Glacier (~6,000 ft), crossing a spur ridge en route.  Ascend moderate snow slopes to Cache Col (6,900 ft).  Cross the col and make a descending traverse SSE to Kool-Aid Lake and good camping (6,120 ft).

ascent Route

From Kool-Aid Lake ascend 1,000 feet to the col separating Magic Mountain and Hurry Up Peak. Gain south ridge and climb to the false summit.  Find a dirty gully on right and drop down 80 feet to gain Class 3-4 broken ledges that corkscrew the east side of summit.

Descent Route

Descend the climbing route.

Trip Profile

Trailhead to Summit 7-9 4,000
Summit to Trailhead 6-7


  • Camp at Kool-Aid Lake or on the arm above Cache Col.
  • A hand line or belay may be necessary. 
  • Loose rock has been reported.
  • Extend your trip by climbing Hurry Up Peak and Arts Knoll.
  • Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb
  • Length: 12.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • 7,610 ft
  • USGS Cascade Pass
  • Green Trails Cascade Pass No. 80
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
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