"Mt. Shuksan epitomizes the jagged alpine peak like no other massif in the North Cascades... it has no equal in the range when one considers the structural beauty of its four major faces and five ridges...There is no other sample in the American West of a peak with great icefall glaciers derived from a high plateau, and in the Pacific Northwest it is the only non-volcanic peak whose summit exceeds timberline by more than 3000 feet... Shuksan is one of the finest mountaineering objectives in the North Cascades and its reputation is certainly deserved; a wide variety of challenges can be encountered on this quite complex mountain. The climber has a choice of rock walls, moderate firnfields, steep ice, and easy scrambling. Despite a sometimes-forbidding appearance, Shuksan has yielded 14 routes, numerous variations, and impressive subsidiary climbs, including some directly up dangerous ice cliffs." - Fred Becky (Cascade Alpine Guide : Rainy Pass to Fraser River)
Shuksan is one of the most photographed mountains in the world for it's striking beauty and easy access. It is ranked #13 on Washington's Highest Peaks (#10 on the Bulger List), #60 on Washington's Steepest, and has 4,411 feet of Prominence. The mountain's name Shuksan comes from the Native American (Lummi tribe) word šéqsən, which means "high peak".
Getting ThereSulphide Glacier Directions: View Google Map Directions.
From Seattle: Take I-5 for about 60 miles until you get to Mount Vernon, take a right at exit 230 onto Highway 20. After about 0.2 miles be sure to take a left onto S Burlington Blvd (this goes North). After 0.4 miles take a right back onto highway 20 (at this part of town it is known as Avon Ave). In about 22 miles you will see a road called "Baker Lake Road" which will be on your left, take this road for about 23.5 miles. From here there is a fork in the road, be sure to go left which goes onto NF Road 1152. Follow NF-1152 for 4.3 miles. Turn right onto NF-11520 which will take you to the trailhead (2,500 ft).
The road may be snow covered in early season making it a longer approach. Many decide on bringing ski's to make traveling faster.
Fisher Chimneys route: Drive State Route 542 from Bellingham to the Mt. Baker ski area. Continue on gravel road about 1½ miles upward to the parking lot at Austin Pass, 4,700 ft (1,433 m). Hike trail #600 to Lake Ann.
Standard Climbing RouteComing Soon...
Hike the trail on an old logging road bed to the end in a brush-covered clearcut. Hike the trail steeply up onto Shannon Ridge above into the virgin forest. Follow this trail in forest to the open ridge with views of Mt. Baker. Then hike the ridge to its end below a pass that leads onto the southern flank of Mt. Shuksan.
Red TapeAll trails and some picnic areas and campsites on the Mt. Baker- Snoqualmie 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 stores or these ranger stations. The pass can also be purchased online from the Washington Trails Association. A backcountry permit is required for overnight stays within the National Park, which includes camps on Shannon Ridge and on the mountain itself.
When To Climb
Camping is allowed on Shannon Ridge and on the mountain. A backcountry permit is required, and can be obtained at the same ranger stations as were mentioned under Red Tape above.
Weather & Conditions
Ideally this peak should be climbed in good conditions. Lenticulars form quite often when bad weather approaches this peak. Plus you don't want to miss the exciting views.
For current weather information on Mount Shuksan check in with the Noaa Forecast.
For Avalanche Conditions, check in with the Northwest Avalanche Center. (Limited based on the season)
Check in with the National Forest Website for more information on the current road conditions which it will say for "Shannon Creek 1152/1152014". There is no up to date website for the trail conditions for Mount Shuksan.
Gear for the ClimbComing Soon...
HistoryMount Shuksan was first climbed by Asahel Curtis and W. Montelius Price on September 07, 1906. In honor of their climb they have three major glaciers named after them on the mountain.
Sunsets and Sunrises
The Eye Candy Isle
- Cascades 2002 Trip including Rainier and Shuksan
- Great photos from a Sulphide Glacier climb
Includes some spectacular panos.
- Eric Hoffman's trip report
- Mount Shuksan via Sulphide Glacier (Photos)
- Nerdy facts on this peak can be found on PeakBagger