Seattle: Climbing North Cascades National Park

Posted on September 10, 2011


Located deep within the towering peaks of North Cascades National Park is Early Winters Spire, the highest summit within the Liberty Bell Group at 7,807 feet, which serves as home to some of the most popular climbing in Washington.

Climbing in the North Cascades, outside Seattle, Washington.

Climbing in the North Cascades, outside Seattle, Washington. (Photo:

Deep river valleys, towering waterfalls and over 300 glaciers are scattered throughout the North Cascades National Park, all of which is linked together by 386 miles of maintained trails and more than 200 designated backcountry campsites.

A popular destination for hikers, climbers and wildlife lovers, numerous outfitters provide guide service through the park for climbers interested in traveling to the region.

Including local legends REI, who offer a 3-day package which includes climbing instruction, gear, food and drink, cooking gear and permit fees. They list the trip as a 4 (Vigorous), due to the hiking on steep, rocky and exposed terrain, so plan to get into appropriate shape beforehand.

Preparing for a climbing trip of this nature might seem a but daunting for anyone not accustomed to the sport, but once your feet are planted firmly on the summit the return on investment will seem priceless.

1. Distance to Seattle – 160 Miles

2. Length of season – May – October

3. Available Terrain – 7 Peaks, 7,807 Elevation

4. Cost for access (tour, etc) – $700+

5. Expert factor (1 beginnier 5 expert) – 4