Mt. David is typical of 7,000+ foot peaks in the Washington Cascades in that its seemingly low stature conceals its "size", in terms of local relief. The river valleys in the North Cascades are very low, and as such a 7,000-foot peak can be very big indeed, with lots of elevation gain. In the case of Mt. David the net EG is about a mile, 5,200 feet.
The mountain long ago had a fire lookout on top, so there is a trail all the way to the summit, a rather rare thing in these parts. It's about 8 miles one way along with those 5,200 feet, so give yourself some time! Also, there's no water to speak of because the trail follows a ridge line as much as possible, so carry plenty. Snow usually remains until August on the upper ridge, and an ice axe is recommended before the snow is gone.
Mt. David is situated south of the Dakobed Range and SE of Glacier Peak, west of the White River drainage, and NW of Lake Wenatchee. When we were there the views toward the main range were mostly occluded by low, racing clouds, so a return trip to see the scenery is a must!
Drive US Highway 2 west from Wenatchee or east from Everett. 19 miles east of Stevens Pass turn north to Lake Wenatchee. At the Wenatchee River bridge check your odometer. At a Y keep left, and at 9.6 miles from the bridge turn right on White River Road No. 6400. The road ends at 16½ miles from the bridge. Park here. Do not hike the White River trail. Instead, cross the foot bridge to the west side of the White River, and on the far side turn left at a junction signed "Mt. David" and "Panther Creek". This trail parallels the river downstream, and at about a mile from the bridge turn right on the Mt. David trail.
All trails and some picnic areas and campsites in the Wenatchee National Forest require a regional pass costing $5/day or $30/year. Golden Age and Golden Access Passport holders may purchase the above pass at a 50% discount. The Golden Eagle Passport will not apply to the Regional Northwest Forest Pass. You can get them at these ranger stations. The pass can also be purchased online from the Washington Trails Association. A free wilderness permit is available at all trailheads where required. Party size is limited to 12 within Glacier Peak Wilderness.
When To Climb
Best climbed from July through October, with August and September being ideal.
Numerous forest camps and commercial camping facilities can be found on and near the approach roads. Camping is permitted within the Glacier Peak Wilderness.
Click here for road and trail information for the Lake Wenatchee Ranger District.
Views from the Mountain
Click on this thumbnail for a high-res pano taken from the summit of Mt. David.