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Elevation: 1,186 ft
GPS: 47.44102, -121.66842
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Shared By: skye h on Apr 20, 2018 · Updates
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Zachary Winters

Description Suggest change

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.

Getting There Suggest change

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.

603 Total Climbs

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Location: Exit 38 Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Exit 38

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
M6+
 25
Painted Ruins
Sport, TR, Mixed
M7
 21
Cold Therapy
Sport, TR, Mixed
M5
 30
Seam Reaper
Sport, TR, Mixed
M9
 6
Boaty McBoatface
Sport, TR, Mixed
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 210
Endless Bliss
Sport 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 152
Iguanarama
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 200
Old Milwaukee Road
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 28
Appassionata
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 79
Primus
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 73
La Vida Locomotive
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 31
Free Radical
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 24
Crescendo of the Sarcophagus Ble…
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 146
Cultureshock
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 21
My Sorrow Bleeds With Such Delight
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 14
Blade Runner
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Painted Ruins *Dry Tooling &… > Wayne’s World D… > Wayne’s World
 25
M6+ Sport, TR, Mixed
Cold Therapy *Dry Tooling &… > Wayne’s World D… > Wayne’s World
 21
M7 Sport, TR, Mixed
Seam Reaper *Dry Tooling &… > Wayne’s World D… > Excellent Adventure Wall
 30
M5 Sport, TR, Mixed
Boaty McBoatface *Dry Tooling &… > Rdhouse Dry Tooling
 6
M9 Sport, TR, Mixed
Endless Bliss Far Side > Gun Show
 210
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 2 pitches
Iguanarama Mt Washington > Amazonia
 152
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Old Milwaukee Road Deception Crags > Deception Wall
 200
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Appassionata Mt Washington > Bob's Area > Lost Resort
 28
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Primus Mt Washington > Amazonia
 79
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
La Vida Locomotive Deception Crags > Deception Wall
 73
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Free Radical Far Side > Shangri-La
 31
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Crescendo of the Sarcophagu… Mt Washington > Bob's Area > Lost Resort
 24
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Cultureshock Deception Crags > Nevermind Wall
 146
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
My Sorrow Bleeds With Such… Mt Washington > Bob's Area > Valley View West
 21
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Blade Runner Far Side > Shangri-La
 14
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Exit 38 »

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