Glacier Peak Washington
In Boy Scouts, we would hike into the Glacier Peak Wilderness to visit Kennedy Hot Springs (now gone from the floods of 2003). These were great trips and even an attempt was made with one friend to scale the peak. With awful data we bushwhacked up Baekos Creek with an eventual summit of Disappointment Peak, a mere 800 feet short of the actual summit. Also as a teen, my brother and I hiked the PCT between Stevens and Rainy Pass, a 120 mile adventure that climaxes with a multi day trek over Glacier Peaks rugged ridges. For 3 nights in a row on 3 sides we explored the alpine terrain and sub-peaks surrounding the volcano. A few years later I went back with better info on Boulder Basin and soloed the route car to car in less than 24 hours. I again climbed the peak a few years after that in blizzard conditions with a friend. The pics below are from my solo climb where with a bit of class 3 scrambling and one snowy ridge I had to straddle, I avoided crossing any crevasses. I looked a bit out of place in shorts to the NOLS group who had been training in the area for 2 weeks before their summit attempt.

Glacier Peak

Distance: 10+ miles
Elevation Gain: 8,500 feet
Summit Elevation: 10,541 feet
Access: Gravel Washington Hiking & Climbing
My history with Glacier Peak:
Glacier Peak is the most remote of the Washington Cascade volcanoes. Although the climb itself isn't too difficult, the mountain seems to repel people by destroying the access routes. Important bridges and roads always seem to be washing out and in 2003 flood waters took out just about every bridge and road on the west side. Even the PCT was re-routed around the east side of the mountain for seven years!
The Boulder Basin/Sitkum Glacier Route described here was the easiest route up. The crevasse danger is minimal and the route never gets too steep. If the road is out, the long hike in will be the issue. Depending on what is left in the Kennedy Hot Springs area, find one of the trails up to the PCT. The best one is south of Kennedy Creek. Once you reach the PCT junction, turn north and go a half mile to a forested campground. From the campground, find a well used trail going steeply up the ridgeline. At times this trail is more like a fisherman's route and you use roots and whatever you can grab going directly up the forested rib. Soon you will reach Boulder Basin where you break out of the trees and enter a scenic basin. Lots of camps here and most do. If you are later in the season, a climbers trail continues or just hike on snowfields southeast up the basin onto the Sitkum Glacier. Climb the glacier to a gap just to the right of an obvious rock block. After the gap the angle get a bit easier. Traverse up for a saddle above Sitkum Spire which is a rock finger on the west summit ridge. Then a pumice ridge leads to the summit block where you have a few different choices on chutes to the summit. All class 2/3.
Washington Hiking
Ultra 57 List
Glacier Peak from Sloan Peak
Glacier Peak Map Glacier Peak Map
NOLS group heading down
NOLS group heading down
NOLS group heading down
Two guys dropping off the summit to the north
On top of Glacier Peak
In memory of Kennedy Hot Springs
View of the mountain climbing up to Boulder Basin
Near the summit
Views north to Eldorado and Dome Peak regions
Views over Puget Sound to the Olympics
Views to the east
Take the Mountain Loop Highway 10.5 miles south from Darrington to the White Chuck River Road. Follow the White Chuck Road 11 miles to the road end and trailhead. Due to the flooding in Oct. 2003, this road and trail has several washed out sections. For this route, best would be to wait until it is repaired. The standard route has become the route from the south at White Pass.
Trails from Kennedy Hot Springs to Boulder Basin
General route from Boulder Basin to summit, both routes I've taken shown
Glacier Peak from the Mt. Forgotten trail
Glacier Peak Kennedy Hot Springs Boulder Basin trail Glacier Peak route Climbers heading down Glacier Peak descending Glacier Peak Glacier Peak views Climbers on Glacier Peak Glacier Peak views Glacier Peak views summit of Glacier Peak