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dblack Fay Peak Scramble

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer loop
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 1,496' 456 m
Descent: -1,496' -456 m
High: 6,429' 1,960 m
Low: 4,940' 1,506 m


Avg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 105% (46°)


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Really fun off-trail scramble up Fay Peak—gives great views of Mt. Rainier.

D14411 F

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

This hike includes sections of off-trail travel. Please ensure you are equipped and well prepared before venturing beyond official and mapped terrain. These areas may or may not be regularly patrolled and access to help may be limited.


Technically, under the Hiking Project rating system, this exceeds the single black diamond because it goes beyond 15% grade. However, if you are used to typical alpine scrambling conditions (loose rock, crazy weather, some exposure, etc.) this will seem very very easy, and low exposure. I think this makes a great intro to an 'alpine' scramble and off-trail travel due to the low commitment, short distance, and moderate terrain.

Need to Know

There was pretty much no water when I did this in October. Snow melt may provide water in spring or late winter. I recommend carrying as much as you need.


Starts from the Mowich Lake parking lot. The start of the route is probably the hardest part! There isn't any great markings, so I just started down the lakeshore on the east side until I saw anything like a game/climbers trail. You aren't going far, so once you find something workable head east until the trees clear up, and you'll know exactly where you are going when you see the summit.

From the west, it looks intimidating, the western buttress is too steep to hike. However angle to the southwest ridge and ascend from there. The map shows a spring route when snow covers the huge meadow. The actual climbers trail starts at the switchback just west of the mapped junction, and climbs 100-200 yards west of the mapped track. Thee climber's trail is properly plotted up on the ridge.

Scramble northeast along the ridge. There are many easy, Class 2 moves, with perhaps 50 feet of Class 3 scrambling to gain the summit.

Enjoy the amazing views, and then either, A) continue off trail east and link up with the Echo Rock/Obervation Rock scramble route for a tough but rewarding day, or, B) descend down the easier scree slopes to the northeast, and return to your original approach trail.

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Oct 9, 2015
D14411 F
Fun Scramble, great views 3.2mi

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  5.0 from 1 vote


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