Seasonal Raptor Closure at Newhalem Crags March 1st to mid-July
Peregrine falcons select nest sites on cliffs in the Upper Skagit Valley, including the Climbing Management Areas of Newhalem West (Ryan’s Wall) and Newhalem East. As required in the NPS Superintendent’s Compendium, these areas will be closed to all public from March 1st to July 15th of each year, or until the young falcons have fledged or NPS staff have determined that nesting will not occur on a specific wall during this period. Access Fund, Washington Climbers Coalition and NPS partner on a volunteer raptor monitoring program to determine nesting activity. Contact the NPS and/or WCC for updates.
One of the easy volcano routes of the Northwest. Great scenery and fun glacier walking.
From the traditional ridge camp at ~6000 ft, ascend easy snow, with the Heliotrope ridge to climber's right. Take care crossing beneath the Black Buttes area, particularly below Colfax peak, as serac avalanches do occur here with some regularity. Beyond Colfax peak, turn gently right, and ascend to the Colfax-Baker saddle at ~9000 ft. From the saddle, ascend directly up the ridge, with the steeper upper Coleman glacier to the right and the Deming glacier to the left. Around 10000 ft, move slightly right onto the Roman Wall, and follow the convex slope to the summit plateau where the steepness decreases significantly. To attain the true summit, walk east through the small saddle to the small east peak.
Descend via the same route.
From the town of Glacier, turn right onto Glacier Creek Road and follow it south for 8 miles to the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead (3,600 ft). From the trailhead, follow the Heliotrope Ridge trail through the woods and across several creeks, then turn right onto the climber's access trail at around 5,000 ft (roughly 2.3 mi from the trailhead). Follow the trail the ridge, which narrows shortly before the camping area at approximately 6,000 ft. There are many options for camping in the flat snowy area at the top of the ridge.
Distance from the trailhead to the camping area is approximately 3 miles.