Cowboy & Big Chief Mountains

Two easy and relatively short snow scrambles right at Stevens Pass, with views to the north over Highway 2. Combine them to make a more interesting outing.

Geting There

Drive US-2 to Stevens Pass and park in the ski area's south parking lot.

approach & Ascent

cowboy mountain (5,858 ft)

Hike past the Stevens Pass ski lodge heading for the Hogsback chair lift.  Hike along the chair to where it ends at 4,800 ft and continue up Cowboy Mountain to the top of the chair northwest of the peak.  Follow the ridge to the summit. It's 3 miles round trip and 1,800 feet of elevation gain.

big chief mountain (5,853 ft)

Scramble mostly southeast up the main ski runs on Big Chief Mountain to the ridge. Follow the ridge northeast to the summit. It's an easy scramble of 3 miles round trip with 1,800 feet of elevation gain.

cowboy & big chief mountains

Scramble Cowboy Mountain (above), and continue over the summit following the ridge to the saddle where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the ridge.  Continue following the ridge to the summit of Big Chief, passing  two chair lifts. The last one is Kerr's Chair (formerly Big Chief). Return by glissading Big Chief Bowl and Showcase, the main ski runs down the  face that ends at Pacific Crest Lodge. It's 6 miles total with 2,800 feet of elevation gain.


  • Scramble after the ski area closes (usually mid-April).
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 2, Technical 2
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,800 ft
  • 5,853 ft
  • USGS Stevens Pass
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes West (Stevens Pass) No. 176S
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Cowboy Mountain
  • Big Chief Mountain

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