The Remote And Rugged Trail In Washington That Will Lead You On A Grand Adventure
Are you looking for a hike that isn’t for the faint of heart?
If skill, equipment, and self-preservation are no object, consider checking out West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek. Though few will have what it takes to reach the summit of this epic North Cascades climb, your reward will be a phenomenal and extraordinarily rare view, not to mention bragging rights for life. For its extraordinary vistas and the inspiring dedication it takes to complete, we consider this the best hike near Marblemount in the North Cascade range.
Your sometimes-scramble up to West McMillan Spire will likely begin early in the morning when blankets of fog still cover the forests. The circuitous trail will cross two creeks as you start your long climb upward.
Cedar trees and sword ferns thickly populate the coniferous woods on either side of the path, but this initial ascent has built a reputation for being relatively pleasant among previous adventurers — at least relative to some of the calf-burners elsewhere in the North Cascades.
Breathe in your last thick air of the day and find your hiking groove. If you're lucky, you'll have executed the creek crossings well enough to make it out with dry socks. You'll need your feet in good condition on your approach to the hospitably named Terror Basin.
Once you break the treeline, the hike contains various areas where you'll be required to scramble. West McMillan Spire is rated "Class 3," meaning there are portions of the path that amount to an easy climb. As always, preparation and patience are essential when attempting these challenging routes.
On this note, while some have managed to complete the ascent in just a day, it's best to plan for a two-day excursion. Past visitors made camp along Terror Creek. There, you'll have panoramic views of nearby Mt. Triumph, and if the weather permits, you may even see your final destination, McMillan Spire, looming above you.
The spire is located in the rugged Picket Mountain subrange of the North Cascades. It remains one of the wildest and least-explored regions of the state, and not many areas are accessible to people. The West McMillan traverse affords you glimpses of a serene, austere, and unfamiliar landscape that few other travelers have ever experienced.
Finally, after almost twenty miles of some of the most strenuous hiking in Washington, you'll reach the summit. Mt. Fury, Luna, and the other Northern Pickets jag up to the north, and Triumph, Eldorado, and Glacier Peak swell in the distant south. You'll never forget the moment you finished this incredible achievement.
If you’re a seasoned adventurer looking to challenge yourself with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek is
the best hike near Marblemount for you. Few routes will test you as equally as they reward those who persevere, and no trail better captures the majestic, rugged beauty of the North Cascade Range.
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McMillan Spire, Washington 98283, USA