Inspiration Glacier – $895
Inquire for private climb rates


June 26 – June 28, 2020


Grade: Beginning
3 Day Climb


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Eldorado Peak is considered the “Queen of the Cascade River“. As Washington States 25th highest peak the route ascends the Eldorado Glacier and up the East Ridge to the peaks knife-edge summit. The peak is perched at the edge of the largest contiguous non-volcanic ice sheet in the lower 48 states known as the Klawatti – Inspiration – McAllister Icecap.

Inspiration Glacier and East Ridge • 3 Day Ascent

The climb presents an intermediate challenge with spectacular views of Dorado Needle, Forbidden Peak, Mount Buckner, Johannesburg and the peaks of the Ptarmigan Traverse. On the approach we climb steeply through heavy timber, gaining a large boulder field and eventually crossing Eldorado creek. The steep trail eventually gives way to a beautiful alpine basin, we then traverse the ridge line and down a steep gully into Roush creek basin at the toe of the Eldorado Glacier. Our ascent travels the moderate Eldorado and Inspiration glaciers and ascends the East Ridge to the summit. The final knife-edge summit ridge offers a thrilling and exposed steep snow traverse. We have the option of setting high camp in the Eldorado Creek Basin or moving to the Eldorado – Inspiration Glacier high camp witch offers views of Moraine Lake, McAllister Glacier and Klawatti Glacier. Our professional guides will introduce and teach you the skills necessary to make a safe and successful climb.

Eldorado Creek Approach

  • Approach Time to Camp: 5-7 hours
  • Trailhead: Eldorado Creek Climbers Path, 2100 ft.
  • Eldorado Creek Basin Camp: 5600 ft.
  • Roush Creek Basin Camp: 6100 – 6400 ft.
  • Inspiration Glacier High Camp: 7500 ft.
  • Vertical Gain from Trailhead to Summit: 6800 ft. gain
  • Trail synopsis: Cross the river via a log bridge and follow the climbers trail through open timber. After gaining 1500 feet of elevation, reach talus slopes. Ascend talus passing cairns with large cliffs to your left. Climb large rocks and ascend the talus field following a climbers path to the upper boulder field. Ascend up and right (east), crossing a small creek and waterfall, follow trails into Eldorado Creek Basin at about 5,500-5,800 ft. Climb up onto ridge at 6100 feet. Descend a few hundred feet down into Roush Creek Basin. Camp in the basin or high camp is another 1,200 feet higher.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure and summit a beautiful peak in the heart of North Cascades National Park.
  • Climb on glaciers and traverse the spectacular knife-edge summit of Eldorado Peak.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Day 2 • Summit Day
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead


This ascent is an entry level summit climb and is suitable for climbers in excellent physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. A one hour climbing skills training will be taught.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Eldorado Peak route at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio ensuring that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides is an authorized outfitter guide service within North Cascades National Park


Inspiration Glacier and East Ridge

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp

Meet in Sedro Woolley, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The drive to Eldorado Creek trailhead at 2,100 feet takes approximately two hours.

The hike to high camp takes 5 to 7 hours. The team will set camp between 5,600 – 7,500 feet depending on the season.

A one hour skills refresh will be taught after arriving at high camp. Each team member will be assessed throughout the mountaineering instruction. You will need to demonstrate adequate fitness and proficiency in climbing skills as your safely is our priority.

We return to camp and prepare for our summit bid. The team enjoys dinner and early to bed for the next day’s climb.

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 2 • Summit Day via Inspiration Glacier • 8,868 feet

Our summit day starts early with a pre-dawn alpine start. From high camp, the climb ascends the moderate Inspiration Glacier from camp to the East Ridge and the base of the summit. We climb steep snow slopes before reaching the final exposed knife edge ridge to the summit. After enjoying summit views from Eldorado Peak’s highest point and celebrating our success we descend to high camp.

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

After enjoying breakfast, we break camp, pack our gear and retrace our hike back to the trailhead. We generally arrive back to the trailhead by early-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro Woolley.

Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner


Where to Meet

8:00 am, the morning of the climb. We meet in Sedro Woolley for equipment check before heading to the trailhead. We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.

Deposit and Payments

$500.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application. Balance due 90 days prior to start date.

Price Includes

  • Guided climb and instruction
  • Boiled water for meals
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees (NW Forest Pass)
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities