Ptarmigan Traverse

The classic and rugged 35+ mile, high alpine traverse from Cascade Pass to the Suiattle River.

Peaks that may be climbed along the way include Mix-up Peak, Magic Mountain, "Hurry-up" (S Mountain), Mount Formidable, Spider Mountain, Le Conte Mountain, Sentinel Peak, Old Guard, The Lizard, German Helmet, Spire Point, Gunsight Peak, Dome Peak and Sinister Peak.

Most parties do the Ptarmigan Traverse in 5-7 days but you may do it in fewer or more days depending on your party's fitness and desires. Here's a sample seven day itinerary:

Day 1 - Cascade Pass to Kool Aid Lakes

Day 2 - Kool Aid Lakes to Yang Yang Lakes

Day 3 -Yang Yang Lakes to White Rock Lakes

Day 4 -White Rock Lakes to Itswoot Ridge or Cub Lake

Day 5 - Dome Peak

Day 6 - Itswoot Ridge or Cub Lake to Downy Creek or continue to cars

Day 7 - Downy Creek to cars via Suiattle River Road

  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
  • Length: 35.0 mi
  • 8,920 ft
  • USGS Dome Peak
  • USGS Downey Mtn
  • USGS Cascade Pass
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
  • Red Marker
    48.475513, -121.075087
    48.4755131604 -121.075086594
  • Red Marker
    48.259129, -121.224475
    48.2591285527 -121.224474907

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