OverviewWhen the west slopes are still deep in snow, and you're hankering to get into some alpine terrain, Fifes Peaks just may fit the bill. Located right off of SR-410 just 12 miles east of Chinook Pass, the terrain around Fifes Peaks melts out early. Indeed, early season (May/June) is the ideal time to go, as later in the season, the approach will be bone-dry and hot. The volcanic complex, which contains three major peaks (East Peak, West Peak, and Northwest Peak) is composed of columnar andesite so characteristic of the Rainier area. The East Peak is a class 4 rock climb, while the Northwest and West Peaks are scrambles. The Northwest Peak is remotely situated at the far end of the complex, while the West and East Peaks are visible from the Highway. For a moderate early-season scramble, Fifes Peak's West Peak is a joy.
From the grassy saddle, head cross-country about 1.5 miles, traversing the west ridge of Fifes Peaks, finally gaining the ridge. Traverse to the base of the West Peak, finding breaks in the cliff bands to allow access to the summit ridge. DO NOT GO TO THE SADDLE BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST PEAKS. From here, it is an easy class 2 scramble to the summit of the West Peak.
When driving to Fifes Peaks, bear in mind that Chinook Pass (5,430 feet) often does not open up until after Memorial Day (late May). It is therefore essential to check with the Washington Department of Transportation to make sure that it is open. Otherwise, it is possible to reach the trailhead from Yakima.
Naches Ranger District
510 Highway 12
Naches, WA 98937
CampingThe Pleasant Valley Campground is located 1.2 miles west of the Crow Lake Way trailhead. It is located on the American River. Camping is available for a fee. Any camping on Fife's Peak would need to be in early season as the area is completely snow-free and dry afterwards.
When to Climb