Mount Shuksan, Washington

Prominence: 4411 ft, 1344 m

Elevation: 9131 feet, 2783 meters

True Isolation: 9.94 mi, 15.99 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 9135 ft / 2784 m
SubpeaksMount Shuksan-Sulphide Peak (7848 ft/2392 m)
Peak TypeFamous Peak, but not High Point
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)48° 49' 53'' N, 121° 36' 10'' W
48.831284, -121.602849 (Dec Deg)
602535 E 5409642 N, Zone 10 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
County/Second Level RegionWhatcom

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Lists that contain Mount Shuksan:
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #96)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #96)
     Famous Peaks that are not High Points (Rank #5)
     Washington State Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #13)
     Mazamas Sixteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #12)
     Washington State Top 200 by Prominence (Rank #13)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #96)
     Mountaineers Cascade Classic Peak Pin (Rank #5)
     Mountaineers Baker's Dozen (Rank #2)
     Chemeketan Eighteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #14)
     Washington State Top 100 Peaks (Rank #13)
     Smoot's "Climbing Washington's Mountains" 100 Peaks (Rank #10)
     Cascade Range 9000-foot Peaks (Rank #26)
     Washington Bulger List (Rank #10)
     Peaks with Most Page Views on Site (Rank #22)
     Peaks with most Unsuccessful Attempts (Rank #9)
     Peaks with Most Ascents Using a Rope (Rank #6)
     Washington State Top 200 Peaks (Rank #13)
     Fred Beckey's Great Peaks of the Continent (Rank #27)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Climbing Washingtons Mountains (Smoot)
       Summit Routes: Washington's 100 Highest Peaks (Stephenson, Bongiovanni)
       Cascade Alpine Guide, Vol. 3 (Beckey)
       Washington's Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine and Glacier Routes (Goldman)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1992-09 by J Thornton
     1994-08-21 by Brian Friedrich
     1995-05-20 by John Anholm (Unsuccessful)
     1995-09-10 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     1998-06 by Karen Schraven
     2002-06-08 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful)
     2008-05-28 by Matthias Ihl (Unsuccessful)
     2008-06-30 by Les Zollbrecht
     2012-05-20 by Emily Wheeler
     2013-08-03 by Wesley Witt (GPS Track)
     2014-05-31 by Randy Furnas (Unsuccessful)
     2014-06-08 by Jason Curtis (GPS Track)
     2014-06-08 by Jaime McCandless (GPS Track)
     2014-07-13 by Rakesh .
     2014-08-16 by James Barlow (GPS Track)
     2014-08-29 by Roger Bartlett (GPS Track)
     2014-09-21 by M K
     2015-06-14 by Chad Straub (GPS Track)
     2015-06-27 by Shawna Leatherby
     2015-07-19 by Nicolas Roy
     2015-08-01 by Aaron Clark
     2016-04-10 by Michael Lewis
     2016-07-24 by Melanie Stam (GPS Track)
     2016-08-21 by Brandon Boulier (GPS Track)

View ascents of peak by registered members (299 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Shuksan
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Shuksan
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Shuksan

Mount Shuksan has become the iconic face of the rugged North Cascades of Washingon, with its picturesque north face a ubiquitous presence on calendars and souveniers. It is probably the most well-known of the non-volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range, a vivid reminder that the northern reaches of the range harbor more than giant snowy domes like nearby Mount Baker.

There are nine or ten non-volcanic peaks over 9,000 feet high in Washington (depending on how you count), and Shuksan lies about halfway down this list in both elevation and climbing challenge. Most of these peaks are not well-known to the general public because they lie far from roads, hidden in a giant thicket of high and craggy peaks. Shuksan, however, towers over the Mount Baker ski area and the end of the Mount Baker Highway , a commanding presence at one of the most popular high-country trailheads and recreation areas in the Cascades. Of the 9000ers, only Mount Stuart near I-90 approaches the visibility and fame of Mount Shuksan.

The mountain is a huge, sprawling mass of ridges, pinnacles, and glaciers, almost its own sub-range. Although the rugged northern side of the peak gives it its fame, the easiest route to the summit climbs the vast Sulphide Glacier from the south, starting a long, long way from the Mount Baker Highway. The Sulphide Glacier rolls right up to the 700-foot high jagged summit pyramid, an easy scramble on steep, loose rock. In early season, the Sulphide is a great ski run.

The easiest and most popular northern route is the Fisher Chimneys route, a devious path winding its way up the north and west slopes of the peak that can be a routefinding challenge but is mostly class 3 climbing or easier. Other routes can be very difficult, including serious ice climbing on the spectacular hanging glaciers that line the peaks frontage to the deep cirque of the Nooksack River.

Mount Shuksan's awesome north face with a coating of early season snow (2000-12-03).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   TopoQuest
Bing Maps   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 4411 ft/1344 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 4451 ft/1356 m
  Line Parent: Mount Baker
  Key Col: Austin Pass    4720 ft/1439 m
Isolation9.94 mi/15.99 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Mount Baker  (WSW)
Isolation Limit Point: 48° 46' 45'' N, 121° 48' 21'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges
Range3: Cascade Range
Range4: North Cascades
Range5: Skagit Range
Range6: Baker-Shuksan Massif
Drainage BasinsSkagit
Puget Sound
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: North Cascades National Park
Wilderness/Special Area: Stephen Mather Wilderness Area
Topo MapMount Shuksan O48121g5 1:24,000
First AscentSeptember 07, 1906
Asahel Curtis
W. Montelius Price
Route #1 Glacier Climb: Sulphide Glacier
Trailhead: FR 1152 2560 ft/780 m
Vertical Gain: 6571 ft/2003 m
Distance (one way): 6.5 mi/10.46 km
Data Source1:25,000 (or larger) Topographic Survey Map
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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Other Photos

The classic picture-postcard view of Shuksan.
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Descending from the summit pyramid via the Sulphide Glacier route (2014-06-08). Photo by Jason Curtis.
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I had never heard of Cirque Tower before I saw it on However, there it is, the black tower just left of center in this photo taken from the Sulphide Glacier on Shuksan. The northern Pickets are in the distance on the right, with Jack at the far right (2010-07-19). Photo by Zak Griffith.
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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mt. Shuksan as viewed from the road near Lake Tyee, just a short drive outside of Concrete. The summit is about 8000 vertical feet above where I'm standing (2014-01-19). Photo by Zak Griffith.
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