Robinson Mountain

A strenuous and technically challenging scramble in the North Cascades Pasayten Wilderness with great views. It's 31st on the Bulger List of Washington's highest peaks and is 14 miles round trip with 6,100 feet of elevation gain.

getting there

Drive SR-20 to Mazama. Drive Forest Road 54 to Ballard Campground (2,600 ft).

approach & ascent

Hike Robinson Creek Trail ~2.25 miles to Beauty Creek Bridge, the second major bridge. About 50 feet after crossing the bridge find Beauty Creek path, an unmaintained trail and not shown on maps. Hike this path ~1.5 miles to where it crosses a creek at 5,200 ft. Cross the creek and ascend the steep slope northwest to an open meadow (snow in early season). The creek is on the left. Continue up the slope through the forest ~1 mile to a tarn (6,700 ft). Camp here if there is enough snow (it's very rocky without snow), otherwise camp lower at 6,300 ft in forest with semi-open meadow. It's ~5 hours, 5 miles, and 4,100 feet of elevation gain from the trailhead to camp.

From camp ascend to the South east Ridge on snow or scree, and follow ridge to summit. The ridge run is long with several false summits. Just before final false summit, the most intimidating and largest block of all the “bumps” before the true summit, stay on the edge and descend to a notch and then ascend directly up the block rock on the ridge to the summit. The ridge is generally sound rock relative to most bumps on the ridge. It looks very intimidating but it goes and is fun. It's ~3 hours, 2 miles, and 2,000 feet of elevation gain from camp to the summit.

Alternate Route: Ascend the South Ridge starting on high ground and left of tarn from camp. The rock is not as good as the Southeast Ridge, but the approach is not the scree and hardpan of the Southeast Ridge.  Ascend one ridge and descend the other for a more interesting loop trip. Note that there is a way trail which runs diagonal traverse up to first gully—do NOT take this and the longer scree gully to right to the ridge.


  • Do this peak in early season (mid-June) when there is snow.
  • Crampons are recommended for travel on snow.
  • The last section on the false summit is very difficult and exposed.
  • Be sure you have a rope handy for the descent.
  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 5, Technical 5
  • Length: 14.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,100 ft
  • 8,726 ft
  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50
  • USGS Robinson Mountain
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