Located in the Sawtooth Range of Eastern Washington, Martin shares many of the same characteristics of the east slope of the Cascades. It is much drier, and melts out earlier than the west slope of the Cascades, offering a longer climbing season and generally finer weather. If you are looking for an early season choice of beautiful scenery and moderate difficulty Martin would make a fine choice.
Take the Eagle Lake Trail 7.5 miles to Horsehead Pass, then drop 700 feet to Boiling Lake (6,900 feet). From Boiling Lake, take a way trail due South toward an obvious unnamed pass (7,400 feet), then drop a couple of hundred feet into the basin, still heading south on parkland for about 1/4 mile. Climb due east anywhere up to the ridge connecting Cheops on the left, and Martin on the right (easy, Class 1). Run the ridge due South towards Martin. Cliffs will force you onto the west side of the ridge. Traverse through Class 2 terrain until under the summit of Martin, then climb straight up (easy Class 3). This is a very long one-day trip (20+ miles), especially considering the fact that it is a very long drive from anywhere. It is much more enjoyable with a camp at Boiling Lake.
A great alpine traverse, easily done in one day from Boiling Lake, would be a Cheops to Martin Peak to Switchback Peak high alpine traverse. All three peaks top out over 8,200 feet.
A Forest Service trail park pass is required at the trailhead ($30/year, $5/daily).
There are no other permits required. This is unprotected territory, just south of the Chelan-Sawtooth Recreation Area.
Unfortunately, this also means that this is prime motorcycle territory. The trail is open to horses, bikes, and motorcycles.
When To ClimbDue to an earlier melt-out, the trailhead should be accessible in May all the way through June. Probably the best time to climb would be in May or June, when snow blocks the motorcycles, but permits the foot-traveler entry.
CampingThere are free campsites at Eagle and Boiling Lakes, and in the meadows below Martin Peak. There are no permits required, as this is unprotected area.
Mountain ConditionsYou can get the latest information on road closures and trail conditions at the U.S Forest Service office.
U.S. Forest Service
Methow Valley Ranger District
Twisp, WA 98856