The Tooth

South Face

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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The Tooth


  • The Snow Lake Trailhead.- The Tooth
  • Views of Chair Peak on the Snow Lake Trail.- The Tooth
  • Stay left at the fork and continue toward Source Lake.- The Tooth
  • Crossing the Boulder Field.- The Tooth
  • Waterfalls in Gold Creek Valley.- The Tooth
  • View of The Tooth from the talus field.- The Tooth
  • East face of the Tooth.- The Tooth
  • Stay left to ascend the gully that leads to the south face.- The Tooth
  • View looking up the east face.- The Tooth
  • View toward McClellan Butte.- The Tooth
  • The route up the south face.- The Tooth
  • Second pitch on the south face.- The Tooth
  • View of Hemlock Peak from the summit of The Tooth.- The Tooth
  • View of Mount Rainier from the summit of The Tooth.- The Tooth
  • The Tooth's shadow projected on Denny Mountain.- The Tooth
  • Rappel route down the east gully.- The Tooth
  • Multiple small stream crossings on the descent.- The Tooth
  • View above Source Lake.- The Tooth
Overview + Weather
Big Cascade views. Short approach. Wildflowers.
Big crowds.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Pets allowed: 
Recommended Equipment:
Ice axe / crampons, Harness / rope / anchors
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade III
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,504.00 ft (763.22 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,100.00 ft (944.88 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


The Tooth is a jagged peak just a few miles from the Alpental Ski Resort in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness that is a must for any alpine climber. The climbing is moderate, the access is easy, and the views are rewarding. Expect some company when the weather is nice, though there are plenty of rappelling stations on this peak that help minimize bottlenecking for those ascending and descending. The south face is the most popular route. It's essentially vertical, which opens the route up in all seasons when the sun is out.

From the Alpental parking lot, take the Snow Lake Trail through the old-growth forest and over a few small streams. You'll hit a fork and want to keep left to reach Source Lake. Hike the trail for roughly a half mile through Gold Creek Valley and into a stream gully, where you can gaze up Pineapple Pass to The Tooth. Cut across the small boulder field to find the climber's trail that is marked with cairns.

Watch your footing on the talus field as you approach a notch that has several slung boulders. This climb can be done in three pitches. Some of the best holds make you feel like a pro climbing an exposed multi-pitch. Enjoy the rewards and expansive views of Denny Mountain, Bryant Mountain, Snoqualmie Mountain, Chair Peak, Guye Peak, McClellan Butte, Humpback Mountain, and the mesmerizing Mount Rainier.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(123 within a 30 mile radius)

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