Known for their stunning glacier-capped peaks and clear blue lakes, the North Cascades are considered by many to be the most beautiful range of mountains in North America. This four-day backpacking trip takes us into the heart of one of the greatest wilderness areas in the United States, and up two of Washington’s most striking peaks. As the name Golden Horn indicates, the rock in this area is yellow in color and glows in the evening sun. In the fall, the surrounding larches also turn bright yellow, creating a surreal blanket of color over rolling hills capped with craggy peaks. Walk the Pacific Crest Trail through ancient forests, cross raging creeks, and camp alongside mirrored lakes surrounded by wildflowers.The optional ascents of Tower Mountain and Golden Horn do not require technical equipment or special skills, but the exposure is still exhilarating, and the challenge is rewarded with expansive views over the Cascade Range.
Glorious scenery notwithstanding, we will use the excursion as an opportunity to pick up and practise essential outdoor and backpacking skills. We would be working on different aspects like packing, camping, equipment, environmental responsibility and safety for a back country trip.
- Pre-Trip planning/checklist
- Backpack packing and fitting
- How to Camp: Campsite selection and set-up
- Backcountry cooking
- Water purification and management
- Waste management
- Leave No Trace principles
- Group Travel Techniques
- Layering systems for staying warm
- How to sleep warm
- Off-trail travel techniques
- Basic Navigation
- Emergency planning
- Info on First Aid kit
- Ten Essentials
- Rockfall and hazard assessment
- Basic Snow skills
- Optional Ice Axe Arrest
Minimum Age18 years old
ActivityTracking and Backpacking
- National Park entrance Fees and camping fees
- Breakfast and Dinner. Chai/Tea
- Guiding fees
- Group gear: tents, cookware
- Pre-Trip Planning/Information session on packing
- Backpacking and Outdoors safety skills
- Travel to and from Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
Distance covered: 4.8 miles
Start Elevation: 4875 ft End Elevation: 6800 ft
Altitude gained: 1925 ft
We will meet at Miyar Adventures office at Redmond downtown area at 9am. Do a quick gear check, then drive three hours to the trailhead at Rainy Pass. Eat lunch and review how to pack your packs. Hike 4.8 miles to Cutthroat Pass, with stunning views of heavily glaciated Dome Peak and craggy Tower Mountain. We will camp near the pass using a nearby stream as a water source. Learn how to select a campsite, purify water, set-up tents, and cook in the backcountry. Bed down early for our big day tomorrow
Distance covered: 3.0 miles
Start Elevation: 6800 ft End Elevation: 8444 ft (Tower Mountain)
Altitude gained: 1644 ft
We wake-up around 6am to begin our big day. From Cutthroat Pass we travel Northeast, crossing over a ridge and reach Granite Pass at just over two miles. Three miles further we reach our campsite at Snowy Lakes, where the ridges of Golden Horn, Tower Mountain, and Mt. Hardy come together to form a protected basin dotted with wildflowers, larches, and colorful boulders. For those who are motivated, in the afternoon we scramble to the summit of Tower Mountain. The ascent involves climbing over broken talus, up crumbling ridges, and finally up a slab of rock and a short chimney to reach the summit. For those who would rather not brave the mountain heights, the afternoon can be spent relaxing in camp, taking in views of the surrounding mountain scenery.We return to camp for a late dinner, and bed down early for another day of adventure tomorrow
For those interested in climbing Golden Horn, we wake just before sunrise. We ascend the ridge Northwest of camp which gradually steepens as we near Golden Horn’s face. The face of Golden Horn looks intimidating, but can be ascended via a class 3 ramp on the left. As we climb we need to be aware of the potential of rockfall from party members above us. The more adventurous in our group can stand on the true summit, which is a small spire of rock with hundreds of feet of exposure in all directions. After taking in the incredible views, we descend to camp. After some rest, we pack-up and head back to Cutthroat Pass. Those who are not interested in the climb of Golden Horn can relax in camp..
Sadly, our time in the mountains is coming to an end. We wake-up later today- around 8am, pack-up and hike the 4.8 miles back to the trailhead. On the way home we stop for a well deserved meal before saying our goodbyes and making our vows to exchange photos and return to the Cascades on a future trip.
Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Mat
Outdoor clothing: base layers, rain cloths, fleece or down jackets for insulation
We will share the detailed packing list before the trip.
If you are interested in doing any climbing or hiking but need a guide , I highly recommend Miyar Adventures...Sandeep is a wonderful person and you will actually learn (and practice ) climbing and crevasse rescue techniques in addition to the trip/climb ...it is definitely beyond a just a "get you to the summit" experience. He genuinely cares and brings in other excellent guides for bigger groups. My husband and I recently successfully made it to the summit of Mount Baker with Sandeep, two other guides and a group of friends and we had a fantastic experience. He and the guides he works with are very knowledgeable so I had confidence in their abilities to lead us but they are also very friendly and fun so that overall trip was enjoyable. I will definitely climb with Miyar Adventures again!
What an awesome experience to go on climbing Mt. Rainier with Miyar Adventures. Sandeep and his team of guides ( Kirk, Alexis, Joe, Ben, Chris, Jasmin ) did an awesome job to lead the multiple rope teams trough snow skill preparations and guiding through safely on glacier journey. The amount of efforts put into multi-month preparation, pre-trip meetings, accessibility to gears for rent and attention to details with food/weight/personal gears were all instrumental in almost all of us (in a group of 24) able to summit Mt. Rainier and have wonderful memories. We knew we were in best company and safe hands with prior experience with Miyar Adventures led climb to Mt. Baker and few other preparation trips. And guides calibrated their approach from novice climbers to experienced climbers to push enough to have an enjoyable experience. I highly recommend to go with Miyar Adventures on amazing trips they have lined up around the Puget Sound Area and internationally.
Sandeep is possibly the best person (Miyar and guides) in the business to take you on the mountains. Anyone who has trained with him to summit Rainier over the years can tell you how much he cares about his peeps. Talk to him and he can always find a way to make it happen. I have been trying to climb Rainier for few years with personal constraints (need to be always available, can return anytime, 24*7 sat phone access etc) and many times I had to return mid climb from big ones like Baker and Rainier. It was really easy to talk to the guides about this situation. I never once felt unsafe on the mountains. This is a big deal given how much we learnt when it comes to snow skills and glacier training. Be safe and go with Miyar!