Mount Temple/West Side

Mount Temple via the West Side is a short but aesthetic route to the highest point of Temple Ridge located deep in the heart of the Enchantments. This two-pitch basic rock climb is rated Grade II+, 5.6.

getting there

From US-2 in Leavenworth, turn onto Icicle Creek Road. Drive about 4 mi to the Snow Lakes Trail parking lot.


Take the Snow Lakes Trail,  (Trail No. 1553, 1,400 ft) to Nada Lake (5.2 mi). At about 0.5 mi around the right side of the lake, cross Nada Creek and head up hill just left of the talus slope toward the notch that leads to Temple Canyon. Where the talus slope narrows to about 75 feet, work right on a Class 2 ledge, then up slabs to a level area just left of the stream. Follow a steep dirt and rock trail into Temple Canyon. Follow a way trail, generally right of the stream, to near the end of Temple Canyon. Scramble up left onto the broad plateau of Tamarack Meadows. Good campsites are available on benches north of Mount Temple (it is the sharp peak just left of a crag which appears higher).

Climbing Route

Ascend into high basin west of Lighthouse Tower. Climb the prominent left-slanting snow finger to the notch just west of the summit. (Crampons may be necessary, and in late season there may be a break in the snow finger at a low-angle, left-facing chimney). Some climbers may wish to rope up for a short pitch leading to the notch. Ascend directly toward the summit for 70 feet. There is a bolt to protect a steep friction face (5.6 moves). Then follow a Class 2-3 ledge left and up to a belay on a wide level block just below and north of the summit. Climb the crack to summit.


Rappel and downclimb the climbing route.

Trip Profile

SEGMENT TIME (HR) Elevation Gain (FT)
Trailhead to Camp 6-8 5,600
Camp to Summit 2-4 1,292
Summit to Camp 1-2
Camp to Trailhead 4-5


  • The rock climb is short, on sound rock, with fairly low exposure.
  • The hike in is very long and strenuous.
  • On a three-day weekend most parties climb High Priest and Mount Temple the same day, climbing High Priest first, then doing a low traverse to Mount Temple. On a two-day weekend an average party will not do both climbs; a strong party can car camp, do Temple the first day, High Priest the second.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Alpine Climb
  • Length: 14.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,892 ft
  • 8,292 ft
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • USGS Enchantment Lakes
  • Green Trails Enchantment Lakes No. 209S
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