Max slope angle
30-45 Degrees
Primary aspect
East facing
Vertical descent
2,710.00 ft (826.01 m)
Distance
9.00 mi (14.48 km)
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Lichtenberg Mountain is a relatively remote summit that sees traffic almost exclusively during the winter, as it requires a scramble and is difficult to get to without snow-cover. Lichtenberg doesn’t have a large reputation, but it’s a fun backcountry skiing/splitboard option for those who have solid snow-safety and avalanche education and training skills, and are looking to try out some lighter-duty ski mountaineering. Depending on conditions, you may need to bring crampons/ice axes if you're determined to summit.

The parking can be a bit tricky, as it’s on the westbound side of Highway 2 (it’s divided here), and if you’re coming from Seattle/the west, you’ll need to go further east, find a turnaround, and then come back west. You’ll park on the shoulder, just east of the Nason Creek/Smithbrook bridge.

The Trip

You’ll begin at Smithbrook Creek drainage, crossing the creek on a solid bridge, then skin up the low-angle snow-covered road. This road sees a lot of snowmobile traffic, so you’ll need to keep your head on a swivel. After two miles on the road, you’ll curve left at a large hairpin turn at 4,070 feet and head southwest across a basin toward a notch in the Northeast ridge of Lichtenberg. It’s a steep climb up the final few hundred feet to the ridge, so you may need to boot up some of the steeper parts. At the notch, catch your breath here and revel in the views of Lichtenwasser (“Lightwater”) Lake. From here, climb southeast up the broad ridge toward the summit. Once you get closer to the summit, the terrain gets pretty steep and cliffy, so you’ll want to curve right (onto the north face). Once you’re below the north face of the summit, you’ll boot up to the true summit, which is rocky and can require some scrambling, depending on your route.

From the summit, you have a ton of options depending on snow cover, avalanche conditions, and how many laps you want to do. For additional beta, check out the Volken guide, which has good maps of the area.

  • You can ski the big northeast-facing bowl south of the summit.
  • You can ski straight north off the Lichtenberg summit, and potentially do another lap on the west peak of Lichtenberg Mountain (northwest from the true summit).
  • With a lot of snowpack, you can ski straight south off the summit all the way down to Highway 2.
  • This track ad guide shows the most efficient route back to your car, in which you’ll ski the glades and bowls northeast back to the big hairpin on Smithbrook Road.

Once you’ve chosen your line safely, enjoy the skiing! And after you’ve finished your laps, get back on the Smithbrook Road and cruise the low-angle road back down to the trailhead.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Remote feel. Plenty of descent options available.

Cons

Long approach skinning up the road. Requires some booting.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

3,100.00 ft (944.88 m)

Highest point

5,844.00 ft (1,781.25 m)

Total elevation gain

2,710.00 ft (826.01 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildlife

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Terrain type

Bowls

Snowmobiles allowed

Yes

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington

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