OverviewMalachite Peak is the alpine apex of a largely sub-alpine bulk between the East Fork Miller River and West Fork Foss River almost due South of the town of Skykomish on US 2. There is a sizable amount of high country surrounding the peak however, which contains several alpine lakes nestled in small cirques, whose geologic origin can be seen in the remnant ice clinging to the North side of the summit.
The peak sits well to the west of the Cascade crest and is isolated from nearby alpine summits, so it offers wide-ranging views from Mount Rainier to Mount Baker, and a close-up of the numerous lakes which are the namesake of the wilderness area it occupies.
The summit block rises steeply from the North-facing cirques and more gentle southern slopes, but offers a couple reasonable scramble options to the summit.
Getting ThereThere are two places where one can drive from which an ascent of the peak is practical.
1)From US 2 take the Foss River Road, FS road 68, south from about 2 miles east of the town of Skykomish. Drive this until turning left on FS 6835 in about 6 miles. 6835 ends at the West Fork Foss River trailhead in about 2 miles. From here one can ascend any number of variations directly up the northeast side of the mountain directly from the trailhead, or follow the West Fork Foss River trail around to the south side of the mountain, then ascend directly to the summit.
2)From US 2 3 miles west of the town of Skykomish take the old Cascade Highway, FS road 6810, SE for about one mile. Then drive south on the Miller River Road, FS road 6410, for another 3.7 miles to its junction with FS road 6412. Take 6412 another ~3.5 miles to where Great Falls Creek meets the East Fork Miller River. From here one will have to endure steep, brushy terrain to the East up a timbered rib to Purvis Lake just NW of the summit. Purivs Lake offers reasonable access to the ridge trending west from the summit and then to the top itself.
Red TapeMalachite Peak is in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and so requires a self-issue permit to be carried by all parties. These are available for free at most trailheads and at the ranger station in Skykomish.
CampingCamping is allowed anywhere in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness more than 100 feet from any trail or lake. Established campsites are available at Lake Malachite and Trout and Copper Lakes on the south and east sides of the mountain near the West Fork Foss River trail. Purvis, Panorama, and Rock Lakes would make excellent, secluded, and attractive camp locations.
This scramble is generally done in a day.