Boston Basin lies within the heart of Washington's stunning North Cascades. The big attraction here is Forbidden Peak, particularly its West Ridge, which is included among Steck and Roper's 50 Classics. Other draws here include Sahale Peak, Boston Peak, Mount Buckner, Mount Torment, and Sharkfin Tower.
The objectives here are truly alpine, and most require some snow and/or glacier travel. Be prepared for inclement weather. This is the Cascades, right?
If you're not going car-to-car, permits are required to camp in Boston Basin.
Wilderness Information Center 7280 Ranger Station Road Marblemount, WA 98267 Phone: (360) 854-7245
Fred Beckey wrote the definitive three-part guide to the Cascades. The Boston Basin area is covered in Volume II. Jim Nelson's and Peter Potterfield's "Selected Climbs in the Cascades" (Volumes I and II) is also a great series.
Driving directions: From Seattle, take I-5 North. Exit in Burlington for WA 20 East, which becomes the North Cascades Highway. Drive about 50 miles east to Marblemount. Make a right in Marblemount onto Cascade River Road. Drive 21.7 miles (according to the guidebook) on Cascade River Road. There's a small pullout on your left directly opposite Johannesburg Mountain. Park here. If you've gone to the end of the road, you've gone too far.
The approach to Boston Basin starts directly from the parking pullout. After a short while, the trail climbs very steeply uphill and is very eroded. Stay on the trail, crossing several streams. Continue switchbacking uphill until out of the trees. Boston Basin lies at about 5700' . Campsites and a composting toilet (best crap you'll ever take) are located in Boston Basin. Several options for campsites are available.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Boston Basin:
The West Ridge of Forbidden is included amongst the 50 Classic Climbs of North America. Expect stunning views, solid rock, an unforgettable summit, and fickle weather.From Boston Basin, ascend scree slopes and gullies, aiming for the snowfield and the obvious West Ridge Couloir. Ascend the snowfield to the base of the West Ridge Couloir. In early and mid-season, the best option to gain the ridge itself is to ascend the West Ridge couloir (about 40-45 degree snow). Climb the couloir until it ...[more]Browse More Classics in WA