Trip Report: McClellan Butte

What a day! Emma and I had been meaning to do McClellan Butte forever, but could never get our schedules to align when the conditions were right. Today, we made it happen, and it was awesome.

The trail is currently in great condition and wasn’t crowded when we were there (early on a Tuesday morning). We had the summit to ourselves.

McClellan Butte – photo courtesy of

The trail ends in a rocky scramble that has been rated Class 3-4. I’d heard the scramble described as everything from “not that bad” to “terrifying.” Yes, there’s a lot of exposure and if you fall it would not end well. I was definitely paying attention. But, the holds are super solid and overall it was really fun. Great day in the mountains with a great friend!

It was cloudy when we started, but the sun started to break through as we neared the top.
Rainier views from the lookout immediately before the scramble.
Enjoying the views (in my new Evergreen Endurance shirt!)
Checking out the scramble.
Emma heads up.
Cascade views from the summit.
Fun times!
Emma, geeking out on rocks at the summit. She’s a geologist and is on sabbatical this year. Part of her sabbatical project involves observing the geology on all her mountain adventures. She leads a rough life.
More views
One more shot of Rainier before we headed back into the cloud cover.

4 Replies to “Trip Report: McClellan Butte”

  1. Great report – I was there in March, lots of snow. We did not do the scramble, it looks kind of scary; it is definitely a fun hike. We saw a mountain goat that day, which was very cool.

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