July 13 – 16, 2019


Grade: Beginner
4 Day Climb


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Glacier Peak, the fourth highest volcanic peak in Washington State at 10,525 feet is considered a true wilderness mountaineering experience. The mountain is known for it’s remote location and stunning alpine environment.

Glacier Peak • 4 Day Ascent

We approach Glacier Peak or “Dakobed” as known in the Sauk Indian dialect from the South Side standard route via the Gerdine and Cool Glaciers. Glacier Peak stands alone in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area as the most isolated of the five major Washington State volcanoes. The mountain offers a unique and pristine wilderness experience which includes a fourteen-mile hike via a well maintained trail through old-growth forest beginning at the North Fork of the Sauk River Valley. The dense Western Red Cedar forest yields to high alpine meadows as we reach our our first camp near White Pass besides the Pacific Crest Trail. The route heads cross-country via Glacier Gap to our second camp, where we rest up and review skills before summit day. We rope up on summit day, making our way up moderate snow slopes all the way to the summit of Glacier Peak at 10,525 feet.

The trip is suitable for strong hikers with no previous mountaineering experience, but is also a great choice for experienced customers looking to visit a remote region of the Cascade range. The four day ascent provides adequate time to summit and our professional guides will introduce the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make the climb. Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain. We utilize the lightest high quality mountaineering tents, stoves and group equipment available to lessen pack weight.

Glacier Peak Approach

  • Approach Time to Camp: 7-10 hours
  • Trailhead: Sloan Creek Campground, 2100 ft.
  • White Pass Camp: 5900 ft.
  • Glacier Gap Camp: 7300 ft.
  • Vertical Gain from Trailhead to Summit: 9200 ft. gain
  • Trail synopsis: From Sloan Creek Campground, we follow Trail 649 along the North Fork Sauk River. After 5.5 miles we reach the Mackinaw Shelter Camp. We continue on Trail No. 649, which begins switch backing for about 2,500 feet gain. The trail gains on a rising traverse to White Pass, just before intersecting the Pacific Crest Trail. We make camp at 5900 feet.From White Pass we take the Foam Creek trail making a ascending traverse under White Mountain to below the eastern col. Leave the trail and head up to the col at about 6,600 feet. Once at the col we get our first views of Glacier Peak. We descend the slope about 400 feet traversing to the right. Continue onto low angle terrain up to the edge of the White Chuck Glacier at about 6,700 feet. Numerous campsites are available here on flat snow. We traverse northward across the White Chuck Glacier on low-angled terrain. Our high camp is located at the col adjoining the edge of the Suiattle Glacier at 7,300 feet. From here we descend 100 feet to the nose of the Disappointment Cleaver, the beginning of our route to Glacier Peaks snowy summit.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure on glaciers and summit a classic volcano.
  • Climb the fourth highest glaciated peak in Washington State.
  • Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to Camp
Day 2 • Hike to High Camp
Day 3 • Summit Day
Day 4 • 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 Glacier 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 within Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest


Climbs begins and ends in Glacier Peak Wilderness

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to Camp  • 5900 feet

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 North Fork of Sauk River trailhead at 2,300 feet takes approximately two hours.

We hike nine miles to our first camp at White Pass through 700 year old Western Red Cedar forest as it joins the Pacific Crest Trail. Camp offers impressive views of Sloan Peak, the Monte-Cristo area, and the Dakobed Range.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Dinner (D)

Day 2 • Hike to High Camp • 7300 feet

Hike to high camp at Glacier Gap above the glacier bed of the former White Chuck Glacier. We travel cross-country through challenging alpine terrain traversing above the White River and descending into Glacier Peak Meadows before ascending to camp near the Suiattle Glacier. We prepare dinner and gear for the next mornings alpine start.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Glacier Peak • 10,525 feet

Our summit day starts early with a pre-dawn alpine start. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields ascending around Disappointment Peak to access the Cool Glacier. We climb the Cool Glacier, traverses a snow and rock arête up to Glacier Peaks icy summit. The summit allows remarkable views of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Mount Baker to the north, and Mount Rainier to the south. After enjoying summit views from Glacier Peak’s highest point and celebrating our success we descend to high camp, pack gear and head down to our White Pass camp for the evening.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 4 • 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.

Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

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.

Price Includes

  • Guided climb and instruction
  • Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

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


During the Glacier Peak 4-Day Climb, Northwest Alpine Guides will provide group meals, (3) breakfasts and (3) dinners while on the mountain. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food on the mountain.

Mountain Lunches

We recommend a variety of snack food for eating on the go, we do not stop for a big lunch break, we eat during short maintenance breaks throughout the day. The idea is to keep your energy level up for the climb eating small amounts about every hour or so.

Some examples of snack-lunch foods are dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars, GORP trail mix.

The importance of having foods that you like to eat cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. A diet of sweet, sour and salty foods is recommended.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Day 1: Lunch & snacks for hike from trailhead to camp
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 2: Lunch & snacks for hike to camp
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 3: Lunch & snacks for climb to summit and descent
Four 15-minute snack breaks on the ascent from high camp to summit, two or three 15-minute snack breaks on the descent from summit to high camp

Day 4: Remaining snacks for the descent to trailhead

Group Meals

Here is an example of meal items NWAG provides and our guides will prepare during group breakfasts and dinners.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Pop Tarts, Bagels, Fruit and Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pasta, Noodles, Tortellini, Vegetables, Rice, Beans, Tasty Bites, Cheese, Freeze-Dried Food

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

For those with special meal concerns we recommend bringing food to supplement the group meals we provide. We can accommodate most common food allergies within the meals we provide. We do not serve fish, shell fish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or egg. In cases such as vegetarians, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving pre-planned group meals.

Northwest Alpine Guides is unable to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other types of special meal concerns. You will be happier providing your own meals.

Please contact us for questions.