OverviewA newspaper report in 1896 reported Cathedral Rock as "a great knob of rock". Cathedral Rock has a nice setting beside snowy Mt. Daniel and the wide Cle Elum Valley. Many have passed by it on their way to climb Mt. Dainiel, a big snowy Alpine Lakes highpoint as well as a county two-fer highpoint, as well as #1 on the Home Court List. The rock would probably receive much more attention if it didn't blend in with Mt. Daniel when viewed from a distance. It was first climbed by James Grieve between 1882 and 1896 according to the Cascade Alpine Guide.
If you have climbed this mountain more recently and would like to be the owner of this page, please contact me!
Getting ThereDrive I-90 east from Snoqualmie Pass or west from Ellensburg and take Exit 80. Proceed north through Roslyn and Ronald and toward Salmon la Sac, 16 miles from Roslyn. Just before entering this little community, turn right on Forest Road 4330 and drive to near the end of the road. Just before the end of the road and the Hyas Lake-Deception Pass trailhead is the parking area for the Cathedral Pass trailhead, trail no. 1345.
Red TapeAll trails and some picnic areas and campsites in the Wenatchee National Forest require a regional pass costing $5/day or $30/year.
For current conditions call the Cle Elum Ranger District at (509) 674-4411.
CampingThere are several campgrounds along the Cle Elum River road as well as primitive sites. Camping is permitted up near Cathedral as well off the PCT or Peggy's Pond area.
ApproachHike the Cathedral Rock trail to Squaw Lake and beyond to Cathedral Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses here. If no snow, there is a trail toward Peggy's Pond. Scramble up the south ridge or from the Peggy's Pond Trail until you reach the rock formation. Expect around 3400 gain and around 4 miles in.
Climb the main gulley to the left of the main buttress. Then climb the southwest face to the ridge crest. Most will want to rope up here for a pitch at an awkward angle. From the ridge crest, a short scramble takes you to the summit. This route is reported by Becky as class 4, so you know its probably low class 5 to most of us. I certainly roped up for it.
See Fred's thoughts in the comment section.
Consult the Cascade Alpine Guide for 4 route descriptions by Becky.