Mount Rainier/Gibralter Ledges

The Gibralter Ledges route on Mount Rainier is Grade II with 35-50° snow and ice.

getting there

Take I-5 to exit 142. Exit to SR 161 and drive south until exiting at SR 512 West. Travel 2-3 mi and get off at Puyallup exit (Mount Rainier sign). Drive via Eatonville and SR 706 to the Nisqually entrance to Mount Rainier National Park (approximately 80 mi from Seattle). Pay entrance fee and drive 19 mi to Paradise, 5,400 ft.


From Paradise, hike the Skyline Trail to Panorama Point. Continue up, crossing Pebble Creek, then up the Muir Snowfield to Camp Muir, 10,050 ft.


Ascend western edge of the Cowlitz Glacier below the Cowlitz Cleaver. Pass beneath the Beehive and cross the cleaver through a notch to reach the base of Gibraltar Rock. Follow obvious ledge system, placing pickets as necessary to protect from exposure. Ascend ice chute, crux, between Gibraltar Rock and upper Nisqually ice cliff to the saddle between Gibraltar Rock and the final summit slopes. Continue for a long 2,000 ft to the east crater rim. Cross crater to true summit.


Descend via the climbing route. Alternatively, during periods of high rockfall, one could descend the Ingraham Glacier and then pass through Cadaver Gap of Cathedral Rocks to return to camp.


Seattle to Trailhead 2.5
Trailhead to Camp 6 4,680
Camp to Summit 7 4,330
Summit to Camp 5


Standard glacier gear, flukes and pickets.


This climb can only be recommended during winter months due to extreme rockfall and icefall on the ledges. Beware of rockfall and icefall during mid-day warming. A direct and straightforward route.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 9,010 ft
  • 14,411 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
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • USGS Mt Rainier West
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

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