McClellan Butte

North Bend, Washington 98045

McClellan Butte

McClellan Butte Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Carved by glaciers, McClellan Butte is a prominent landmark along Interstate 90 between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass. Heading east to the pass, look south of the highway for a sharp peak that resembles an eagle about to take flight.

Though the trail has seen oodles of work in recent years, it is still brutally steep in most places, and there are precious few views to reward hikers until they almost reach the top. That said, it’s an excellent alternative to Mount Si, covering a nearly equal amount of miles and elevation gain, with the extra delight of significantly fewer crowds."

More McClellan Butte Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (The Mountaineers Books)
Dan A. Nelson
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"Sometimes, you hike the steep trails to get the best possible views. Other times, you hike the steep trails just because they are steep. Mc Clellan Butte hikers generally fall into this later category. The trail is steep and physically demanding, while the views are less spectacular than you’ll find on other nearby trails. But folks flock to this wonderful trail, using it as a warm-up for more serious alpine adventures later in the year. And unlike other "training" hills (Mount Si and Granite Mountain, for instance), Mc Clellan Butte doesn’t draw hundreds of people every day in the spring and summer. You’re not going to hike in solitude, of course (every trail in the I-90 corridor draws weekend boot traffic), but you might only see a few other people as you sweat your way to the summit." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Seattle - Including Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma (Menasha Ridge Press)
Andrew Weber and Bryce Stevens
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"Thanks to its rocky summit and central location, 5,162-foot McClellan Butte provides one of the best views of the high peaks lining I-90 between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass. On the final ridge, an optional scramble presents an additional challenge, suitable for experienced hikers who are comfortable using handholds and facing considerable exposure." Read more

McClellan Butte Reviews

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Snow at about 2/3 way up. Snow was coming down on Saturday (approximately 6 inches by next morning), avalanches already in two of the northeast chutes, third one was sketchy. Snowed Sunday but less. Snow pack was pretty compact, ice in patches, especially on trail.
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Great hike! Pretty steep grade for most of the hike, but the views down the I-90 corridor, the surrounding peaks, and Mason lake are well worth it!
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Mid July the flowers and beargrass in full bloom. A consistent grade up and steeper switchbacks the second half of the trail. Trail was pretty busy and Mason lake was less then peaceful with all of the visitors, but it was completely worthwhile.
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This is a great trail for those who don't have the time (or don't want to spend the time) traveling hours and hours from the city just to get to a trailhead, and it shows in the horde of cars parked in the lot. Still, it's not quite as crowded as the Mt. Si trail. While you won't be alone for more than five minutes at any given time of day, it is certainly a pretty hike. We took the path at the first signed junction to Mason Lake and had lunch, then back-tracked to take the Mt. Banderas path. This was the hard part, with a grade that was equivalent to a staircase. The heather was past its prime, but other wildflowers (paintbrush, lupine, BEARGRASS, tiger lily) were putting on a great show. The views of Mt. Ranier from the Banderas side-trip could make it worthwhile even without the wildflowers later in the summer. There was no snow on the path at any point, and only a small patch in a side-shadow near the top of Banderas. Wear sunscreen and bring a hat--much of the middle 2 miles is exposed. Too bad you can see I-90 almost the entire time after the first mile or so...but still a pretty trail and decent exercise.

McClellan Butte Photos

Trail Information

North Bend
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 to 7 hours
Summer and fall
Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS), Middle Fork Snoqualmie, Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District, North Bend Office, 42404 SE North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045; (425) 888-1421; about-forest/offices/?cid=fsbdev 7_001660.
Local Contacts
USGS Bandera
Local Maps