Join the Challenge
The 3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge is a self-paced hiking and trail running challenge up six iconic PNW mountains.
This year there are ten mountains to choose from. Hike any six to complete the challenge and earn your finisher patch, or tackle the ‘classic' peaks and earn a special badge.
You choose whether you want to complete them in six days, six weeks, or take the entire year. Set the schedule that works best for you.
You can climb them in order as you build your strength and endurance, or mix it up. The choice is yours. Your registration will help support Big City Mountaineers, so you'll be doing good for others with each peak you climb.
Overview Map of the Pacific Northwest Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge
The Peaks of the Pacific Northwest Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge
The 'Classic' Six
MAILBOX PEAK – Elevation 4,841′ (1476 m)
Take the old trail and you'll climb over 4,000 vertical feet in less than three miles. Fortunately, there is a longer-but-kinder new trail with switchbacks. With that vertical gain, either option is a physical challenge.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mailbox Peak Loop
Distance: 8.3 miles; Vertical +/- 4,237 ft.
MOUNT PILCHUCK – Elevation 5,341′ (1629m)
Mount Pilchuck is a very popular hiking destination in the North Cascades despite the difficult, rocky climb to the top. The historic lookout tower is part of the appeal, but the real attraction are the million-dollar views.
Six-Pack Route Details: Hiking Mount Pilchuck
Distance: 5.5 miles; Vertical +/- 2,300 ft.
MOUNT ELLINOR – Elevation 5,952′ (1814 m)
Mount Ellinor stands nearly 6,000′ above sea level, a prominent sentinel at the south-eastern corner of the Olympic Peninsula. The trail up Mt. Ellinor has a reputation for being steep, but rewarding with terrific views.
Six-Pack Route Details: Hiking Mount Ellinor
Distance: 6.6 miles; Vertical +/- 3,286 ft.
GRANITE MOUNTAIN – Elevation 5,629′ (1716 m)
A steep climb up the south-facing slope of Granite Mountain might reward you with wild huckleberries. The views from the top are legendary – one of the reasons there is still an active fire lookout tower at the summit.
Six-Pack Route Details: Hiking Granite Mountain
Distance: 8.6 miles; Vertical +/- 3,800 ft.
CAMP MUIR – Elevation 10,188′ (3105 m)
Nestled between the Nisqually and Paradise Glaciers on Mount Rainier, Camp Muir is the highest point on the mountain that you can reach without a climbing permit. And you'll get some snow travel up the Muir snowfield above Paradise.
Six-Pack Route Details: Camp Muir Route via Skyline Trail
Distance: 8.4 miles; Vertical +/- 4,696 ft.
MOUNT SAINT HELENS – Elevation 8,363′ (2549 m)
Climbing to the top of this active stratovolcano is challenging, but won't require any technical skills, but it does require a permit, so apply early.
For 2021, climbing permits will be made available on the first of each month at 7:00am PST for the following month. This new process will remain in place throughout the permit quota season, ending October 31, 2021. Climbing permits cost $15 per person per day. A $6 reservation fee is charged per transaction.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Saint Helens Summit via Ptarmigan Trail
Distance: 10 miles; Vertical +/- 4,500 ft.
The Alternate Peaks
MOUNT DICKERMAN – Elevation 5,729′ (1746 m)
Located off Mountain Loop Highway in the Mt Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, this is a steep out-and-back hike, climbing an average of nearly 1,000 feet per mile. Renown for wildflowers and bird watching.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Dickerman Trail
Distance: 8.3 miles; Vertical +/- 3,854 ft.
MOUNT STORM KING – Elevation 4,538′ (1383 m)
Mount Storm King is a challenging hike with a little of everything; steep switchbacks, a rope section and a rock scramble to the summit. This peak towers over Crescent Lake.
There is a fee to enter Olympic National Park.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Storm King
Distance: 5.3 miles; Vertical +/- 2,076 ft.
MOUNT SI – Elevation 4,114′ (1254 m)
This popular hike is steep, but rewards with stunning views of the Snoqualmie River Valley. A Discover Pass is required for parking at the trailhead.
Note that the final scramble up The Haystack to the true summit is optional.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Si Trail
Distance: 7.5 miles; Vertical +/- 3,336 ft.
MOUNT DEFIANCE – Elevation 4,935′ (1504 m)
This six-million year old shield volcano is the highest point of the Columbia Gorge, and is considered by some to be “the hardest hike in Oregon”. Lots of vertical, but you'll be rewarded with front seat views of the Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens.
Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Defiance Trail
Distance: 12.4 miles; Vertical +/- 5,072 ft.
Latest Pacific Northwest Challenge Hike Logs
Husband and I started out at the old mailbox trailhead at 8am (ish). As reported by others, there was some packed snow and ice on