From the most direct route: 8 miles
Malcolm Mountain, located in the Teanaway Region of the Eastern Cascades, is a great summit for those who want to escape the poorer weather on the western side. Typically on the Eastern side of the Cascades the weather is much better and the snow out here melts out earlier than on the western side. Malcolm Peak, though not above timberline consist of a 360 panorama with a great shot of the Stuart Range as well as Earl and Daniel. The Stuart Range which contains the striking Mount Stuart lies north-northeast behind many of the Teanaway area peaks. These peaks like Koppen Mountain and Earl Peak lie in the foreground. You can also see many of the Alpine Lakes summits to the northwest (ie Daniel, etc.) from the summit and Mount Rainier to the west on a clear day (though I didn't see it due to it being cloudy).
Unlike it western counterparts at about similiar elevation (ie McCellan's Butte, Granite Mountain (I-90) Malcolm Mountain gets much less traffic and offers plenty of solitude. Often you will have this whole mountain to yourself the entire time you are on this mountain. The reason for this is because the mountain is further away from the Seattle metro area (many people who usually will pick a peak in the 1-90 corridor or Stevens Pass) and the fact that the mountain is often overshadow by it's nearby larger neighbors such as the Stuart Range (ie Mount Stuart, etc.).
The mountain can be reached via the Way Creek Trail which is a level and actually fairly easy trail, south face trail most of the way up. When snowfree this trail is very pleasant. It basically goes up a ridge and then goes to the side of Peak 5220 passing over the Way Creek drainage. The trail then hits the ridge roughly 2.5 miles up where it will run into the Koppen Trail. Make a left on the Koppen Trail and take it roughly a mile as it traverses a ridge. Scenic shots can be seen from this ridge of the Stuart Range. Once you go over an interesting sub-summit on the ridge there will be a footpath with some YDS Class 2 sections that will lead to the summit and a beautiful 360 panorama.
This is best in the fall or in the spring AFTER the snow has melted on the ridges. In a low snow year I would suggest every May and in a high snow year I would suggest early June. During the summer watch out for heat waves. Often temps here can be ten to twenty degrees higher in this region than in the Seattle metro area. As for winter often the road is not plowed leading to a longer trek to the summit.
Getting ThereFrom via Route 970: Located between the town of Teanaway and Route 97 take Teanaway road north roughly ten miles to just past the 29 Pines camping area on your left. Once just past the 29 Pines camping area merge a left onto National Forest road 9701 and take it up (it will run along side of Jungle Creek) rougly three miles all the way to the end where you will see a trail sign. THe trail (dirt road at this point will be on your right.
Red TapeNorthwest Forest Permit required.
CampingCamping is permitted just not in the parking area. If you want a more organized camping area check out 29 Pines before the forest roads.
External LinksHere is a trip report on Malcolm Mountain.
Here is another link with a good trail description of the route up Malcolm Mountain.
Weather ConditionsHere are what the weather conditions would be from nearby Cle Elum.
alt="Click for Cle Elum, Washington Forecast" height=60 width=468>