Exit 38 Climbing
|GPS:||47.441, -121.668 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||690,632 total · 18,039/month|
|Shared By:||skye h on Apr 20, 2018 · Updates|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters|
Exit 38, home to an abundance of sport routes, is nestled in the I-90 corridor just out of Seattle. It consists of 3 major sub-areas, each with its own parking area: Mt Washington, Deception Crags and Far Side. Each area has many small crags of metamorphic, oft-chossy rock to be found in the hills. A Discover pass is required to park at the Dirty Harry's Peak trailhead (the Far Side), the Mt Washington trailhead, and as of 2021, a portion of the parking for the Deception Crags is set aside for Discover pass holders.
Developed first by Bryan Burdo, these multitudes of cliffs would have been inaccessible thirty years ago, but first climbers' paths and then hikers' trails now lead directly and easily to each area. You won't find many trad climbs here, and very few cracks, but plenty of juggy (and steep) face climbs and a few nice slabs. Loose rock is a problem on less-visited areas, but most routes aren't as chossy as they look. Every climb was sport bolted up until recently but a several trad routes have been developed at the Far Side (mostly at Shangri-La). You also won't find hardly any multipitch climbs. The rock type (or something, since after all, Goat Wall is the same kind of stone) doesn't lend itself to 500-foot massifs, but there are one or two three-pitch outings here and there. It's a great area for your first lead, some fun experience with Washington's rhino rock, some steep face challenges or, depending, a one-hour bushwhack approach or ten minutes from the car.
Take I-90 east from Seattle and take Exit 38. At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right.
Mt Washington is the closest sub-area to the exit ramp. To access Mt Washington and the associated crags, take a right on SE Homestead Valley Rd, and then a right onto the next gravel road, going up a small hill to the Deception Crags & Mt Washington trailhead. (Needs Discover Pass.)
Deception Crags is the next closest sub-area. To access Deception Crags, either park in the Mt Washington trailhead area [needs Discover Pass] and hike east on the Iron Horse Trail to Deception Crags, or drive a mile further down SE Homestead Valley Rd (not specifically marked as such, it's the only road though), and park in one of the two pullouts on the left side of the road before you drive past Change Creek. The trail that leads through the Deception Glade boulders and up to the rest of the crags is just west of Change Creek.
The Far Side is the furthest area from the ramp. Follow the road all the way around, go under the I-90 overpass and park in the parking lot for the Dirty Harry's Peak trail. (Needs Discover Pass. A map at the trailhead shows the various crags.) Follow the trail or the firefighting academy road over the bridge and take a right on the trail, which leads you to the various rocks hidden in the woods.
Classic Climbing Routes at Exit 38
Days w Precip