Mount Ararat

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Washington, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
6010 ft / 1832 m
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Mount Ararat
Created On: Feb 9, 2013
Last Edited On: Mar 9, 2013


Mount Ararat of Mount Rainier National Park, not to be confused with the great Mount Ararat in Turkey, is another great summit destination in Mount Rainier National Park. The summit is relatively obscure compared to other summits in the region but is still a very worthwhile destination in the region.

The summit in foggy weather
View from the summit on a not so sunny day.

The summit itself has about 600 feet of prominence and is at worst Class 2 during the summer and a steeper snowshoe hike in the winter This summit can be reached in all season though it does require some effort. At a little under 12 miles and 4000 feet of elevation gain this mountain usually takes anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on the shape of the climber and the conditions he or she will face.

Heading for the summit of Ararat
 Landscape as we reach the final summit block (Photo courtesy of Pat Sloan)
Looking at Mount Rainier
 Rainier through the trees and clouds (Photo courtesy of Pat Sloan)

Despite Mount Ararat have some trees on the summit area, the summit is home to great views on a clear day. To the west Mount Wow and Gobbers Knob can be easily seen from Mount Ararat. To the south one can see Mount Saint Helens and many of the other mountains and foothills in the region. To the east the great Mount Rainier dominates the skyline along with Copper Mountain and Iron Mountain in the foreground. In reality one can combined Copper Mountain, Iron Mountain and Mount Ararat on a multiple day trip. Unfortunately as this page is being published I this climbed this mountain the summit was covered in fog. I will probably make a return trip in the future to give a better representation of what the view from this summit looks like.

Heading up the last section
Heading up the last section to the summit. (Photo courtesy of Pat Sloan)
Rainier peaking out through the tree
Rainier from the Kautz Creek Basin on the way up to Mount Ararat. (Photo courtesy of Pat Sloan)

Getting There

From Puyallup and the Seattle and Tacoma Metro Area: Take WA-161 South "Meridian Ave" for 23 miles until you reach Eatonville. Once in Eatonville turn left onto Center St and go a 1/2 mile. From there continue onto Alder Cutoff Rd for 6.5 miles. You want to then turn left onto WA-7 Mountain Highway. This road will turned to National Park Highway for 18.5 miles. Stay on Washington 706 "Paradise Rd" for 3.3 miles where your tralhead will be on your right.


Map of the Route

Unlike most mountains in Washington the winter and summer route to this summit are actually pretty much the same. There some variations depending on avalanche danger but for the most part the route is very similar in both winter and summer. Some in winter like to climb some of the ridges to the east of the trail all the way to Mount Ararat but from what we saw that probably added more time and would be very hazardous in high avalanche danger. You want to start out on the Kautz Creek Trailhead down before Longmire. The first 1.5 miles of the trail parallels the creek area and is very level.

Snowcovered bridge from the Kautz Trail
Snow-covered bridge on the Kautz Trail
Gap in which you rise to attain the ridge
The gap for where you attain the ridge

Once you cross the creek the trail becomes a little more difficult. There are two fairly steep sections of the trail. One section between 3200 and 4000 feet and the other between 4400 and 4800 feet. If this section is icy then climbing here can be a great pain. From there continue north as the trail rises generally gradually though some steeper sections might play a role from time to time. The Kautz Creek trail will travel just east of Mount Ararat. Once at the base of Mount Ararat bushwhack or snow-climb between the two cliffs of the ridge (no more than Class 2 at worse) all the way to the partially treed summit.

Towering unnamed ridge one mile south
Towering unnamed ridge which to traverse below. Use caution here because there is some avalanche risk in this area
Typical winter conditions heading down
Typical winter conditions on this mountain

Red Tape

National Park rates for the park are $15 for a 7 day period; $30 for the year at ONLY Mount Rainier National Park or the $80 for all National Parks in the United States.

When to Climb

This is a year round mountain, though wintertime can be more challenging than summer due to variable conditions of the trail. On my encounter of this area in winter I encountered everything from icy slopes to very deep powder.


Camping can be done in Mount Rainier National Park and the area around this peak is not a bad spot to camp, especially if one is interested in combining multiple summits in one day. A wilderness permit is required for camping in the national park. For more information about back-country camping at the national park CLICK ON THIS LINK

External Links

WTA website on Mount Ararat.

Mount Ararat Peakbagger home page


Early summer trip report on Mount Ararat