Echo Rock, Observation Rock & Tillicum Point

Scramble one, two or all three of the prominent bumps on the northwest side of Mount Rainier overlooking the glorious Spray Park.

Getting there

From Enumclaw drive 5 miles west on SR 410 to the small town of Buckley and on the west end of town, turn left (south) onto SR 165. Continue 10 miles through the communities of Carbonado and Wilkeson before crossing the one-lane bridge over the deep Fairfax Gorge on the Carbon River. Just beyond the bridge, turn right onto Mowich Lake Road (Forest Road 79) a narrow road that climbs through a clearcut slope. Drive to the second trailhead at Mowich Lake (4,950 ft).


Follow the Spray Park Trail to Spray Park. At ~6,200 ft turn right onto established way trail. It's easy to follow for ~1 mile.

Ascent Route

Observation Rock (8,364 ft)

Ascend to the saddle between Echo and Observation then contour clockwise around Observation for easy approach from the south. 

Echo Rock (7,862 ft)

Follow boot path 600 ft up south ridge pumice to rock. Scramble up boulder field on southwest face up to solid rock. Traverse left below cliff then go right up easy rock step. Continue up short way-trail to ridge and traverse up and south staying on west side of ridge crest. Scramble north pinnacle, South pinnacle is very exposed for last 20 ft. Beware of loose boulders. Echo is short and surprisingly pleasant.

Tillicum Point (6,800 ft)

Cross Spray Creek and traverse 200 feet to a talus slope.  Cross the talus slope or drop 100 feet below it, then ascend on its south side (climber's right), moving up and right into woods as needed, finding game trails to reach flatter terrain at 5,600 ft that crosses lovely flowering meadows.  Head southeast, climb hard snow (Technical 4 difficulty), and then transition carefully to rock northwest of Point 6782.  Follow the rock ridge to Tillicum Point (Technical 3 difficulty).

To combine with Observation Rock, traverse loose rock and snow from the 6,760-foot saddle to the southeast to small saddle at 7,240 ft.  Descend 100 feet to flatter terrain, then ascend on a rising traverse to reach easy walking at 7,800 ft.  Turn east, eventually connecting with the standard route near the summit of Observation Rock.  Descend the standard route via Spray Park trail, scrambling Echo Rock if desired.  Return to Mowich Lake by trail, or via Knapsack Pass. Expect this route to take a bit longer that standard route, but you get views into the rarely seen upper North Mowich River valley. 


  • Helmets, ice axes, microspikes are recommended in early season and crampons later in the season. 
  • In August and later, the snow slopes east of Observation Rock can be icy.  Crampons or at least Microspikes are recommended.  Otherwise circle high above them or low below them.
  • Helmets are essential on Echo Rock (see photo above).
  • If time permits, return via Knapsack Pass. To get there from Spray Park, either cross over the east shoulder of Mt Pleasant at about 6,200 ft or drop down toward Mist Park and traverse northwest at about 5,600 ft into basin east of Knapsack Pass.  From the pass, there is a well-defined way trail back to the ranger station by Mowich Lake.
  • Mowich Road does not usually open until mid July.

Information for Leaders

Check with Mount Rainier National Park (land manger link below) to be sure you have the required camping and climbing permits.

  • Difficulty: Strenuous 4, Technical 4
  • Length: 13.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,800 ft
  • 8,364 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
    Mount Rainier Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • USGS Mowich Lake
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX
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.

  • Echo Rock
  • Observation Rock
  • Tillicum Point
  • Echo Rock & Observation Rock
  • Tillicum Point & Observation Rock

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