Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 48.44606°N / 121.04166°W
Additional Information County: Skagit
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 7610 ft / 2320 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Magic Mountain is a relativey small (compared to its neighbors), but very prominent and majestic peak just Southeast of Cascade Pass. It is separated by a col from Pelton Peak, and shares the Yawning Glacier with it. It presents a variety of interesting routes of varying degrees of difficulty, but none should be undertaken lightly.

Getting There

Drive East on Highway 20 to Marblemount, then cross the bridge for Cascade River Road, and follow to the Cascade Pass Trailhead. Hike up easy switchbacks in 3.7 miles to Cascade Pass. Then you are presented with several options for the approach.


From the Beckey Guide Vol. 2: South Ridge: From Kool-Aid Lake via Ptarmigan Traverse, ascend 1000 ft directly up heather and scree to the saddle between Magic and S Mountains. The first third of the South Ridge is an easy heather scramble, then possible snow travel to false summit (about 300 ft SE of true summit). Then descend about 80 ft to climb the summit tower on the NE face. Rating: Class 3-4


Southwest Cirque: Approach as for South Ridge route to cirque SW of summit. Climb any of the heathery gullies at the N or NE head of the cirque to gain the summit ridge. Rating: Class 3-4


West Ridge: From the pocket glacier below the face, cross the schrund (possibly difficult), then climb shelves to a blocky open book. Climb one pitch (5.6) to a slab. Climb its easier left side. From below the ridge between the false and main summits, climb an easy chimney on the left. Rating: 5.6


Northwest Ridge: Approach as for South Ridge route; ascend easy slopes SW of Magic to its base, then climbb steep rock and finally an easy chimney to a notch NW of the summit. Then traverse and climb the short remaining distance to the summit via the NW face. Rating: Class 4


North Face: From Pelton Basin, ascend easy slopes, then a steep couloir and the Yawning Glacier to the Magic-Pelton Col (6,480 ft). Bear back and cross the head of the glacier to the north face, then climb 600 ft of steep rock to a notch immediately NW of the summit. Rating: Class 4


Northeast Couloi: Use north face route to Magic-Pelton Col. Ascend glacier to prominent couloir that splits SE rock face (possibly snow-filled). Climb this via rock or snow directly to summit. Rating: Class 3

Red Tape

As this is in the North Cascades National Park, you will need a camping permit, and a Northwest Forest Pass to park at the trailhead. Parties are limited to a maximum of 6 people.

When to Climb

Theoretically this could be climbed year-round, if you have skis or a snowmobile to make the trek up and over Cascade Pass under heavy snow, but for most climbers, this is most feasible as a late spring or summer climb, when Cascade Pass is open and the trail is acccessible (and the avalanche danger is lower).


There are bivy sites and campsites around Kool-Aid Lake, and several areas in the Ptarmigan Traverse neighborhood.

External Links

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