Devils Thumb is a fairly small, craggy peak located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and more specifically in the Darrington Ranger District. It is situated approximately 9 miles to the SSE of Darrington and approximately 3.5 miles to the NNE of Silverton on Mountain Loop Highway. Devils Thumb is composed of a red toned rock similar to Red Mountain near Snoqualmie pass, except that the rock on Devils Thumb is exceptionally more solid. The 5,172 Ft. summit is clearly visible from Darrington. Except for the arduous approach, 2.5 miles of old logging road and a classic cascade bushwhack, the climb is very enjoyable with excellent views of Glacier Peak, Three Fingers, Whitehorse, Big Four and other surrounding peaks.
Devils Thumb can be climbed in a single day, although it makes a very nice weekend outing when combined with Devils Peak located 1 mi. to the SW. The climb to the summit involves a steep snow climb to a ridge, a short 4th class rock climb and a very narrow ridge walk with a great amount of exposure to the highest summit.
Devils Thumb has only one practical route to the summit, being the SW ridge, although a ridge travers starting from the south is a possibility (see quote below from the CAG).
“Early climbing history is unknown. Joe Vance climbed the long and craggy S ridge in 1968.” (Beckey)
Getting ThereThe trail head is located at the intersection of Deer creek road #4052 and Coal Creek Road #4054. Deer Creek Road exits north on Mountain Loop Highway 23.5 miles east of Granite Falls. During the winter Dear Creek Road is closed to vehicles at Mountain Loop Highway and the road must be walked, or skied to the intersection with Coal Creek Road.
From the south on I-5:
Drive on I-5 until you get to US-2, and exit east onto US-2 via exit #194. Continue on US-2 for 2.2 miles until you arrive at WA-204, merge onto 204 going east toward Lake Stevens. Continue on 204 for 2.6 mi. until you arrive at Hwy 9. Turn left (North), onto highway 9, and travel 1.7 miles until you get to Hwy 92, and turn right (east) onto Hwy 92 (a.k.a. Granite Falls Highway). Continue on Hwy 92 for about 8 miles when you will arrive at Granite Falls. From Granite Falls, you will turn left onto Mountain Loop Highway at the major intersection at the other end of town. Drive Mountain Loop Highway for 23.5 miles to Deer Creek Road #4052. During the summer when the Deer Creek Road is open, you can drive this road for 1 mi. to the intersection of Coal Creek Road #4054 where you can park in the turn out. The trail head is unmarked. Coal creek road is permanently closed to traffic, this is where the hike starts.
From the north on I-5:
Drive I-5 south to WA-531 and exit east on exit #206 toward Lakewood / Smokey PT. Continue for 3.5 mi. to Hwy 9 and turn right (south) on Hwy 9. Drive for 5.5 mi. to Getchell Rd. / 84th St. NE. Turn left (east) here and continue 4.6 mi. to Granite Falls Highway / Hwy 92. Turn left here and the remainder of the trip will be the same as above from Hwy 92.
From the east on Hwy 2:
Drive Hwy 2 until you get to the exit for Highway 9. Turn right onto Hwy 9, and continue until you reach Hwy 92. Turn right here and the remainder of the trip will be the same as the I-5 north directions.
Red TapeThis is not a marked trail head, so a northwest forest pass should not be required, and there are no permit issues for this area.
CampingFor a weekend trip, camping is permitted anywhere in the area. We camped in the valley next to Devils Lake.
Information on how to get to Devils Lake is provided in the "approach" section of the SW Ridge route page.
For camping before you start the climb, there are very many campsites all along Mountain Loop Highway, and there are many turnouts along the road that you could pull over and sleep in your car if you wish. During the winter the established campgrounds are closed.
When to ClimbDevils Thumb can be climbed year round, although a spring climb would be the most enjoyable when there is still ample snow to facilitate kicking steps up the gully, but is compact enough to avoid wallowing in soft snow. During the summer months, you may encounter much thicker brush on the approach.
Mountain ConditionsArea Weather Info
For avalanch and weather info:
External LinksMt. Baker Snoqualmie National forest
Darrington Ranger District
Verlot Public Service Center
Phone Number: (360) 691-7791
For road conditions
Outside Resources-Cascade Alpine Guide by Fred Beckey. Volume 2: Steven Pass to Rainy Pass. Page 119-120
-USGS 7.5 Minute Map: Silverton (approach) and Helena Ridge (actual Mountain)