*Most of the description is taken from a local guide book--see below for details**
Mount Erie is actually within city limits, located just south of Anacortes. Features some 30 miles of hiking trails, as well as popular teenage party sites & exceptional views of the Olympics and Puget Sound. Though it is a mountain there are no really large expanses of rock, but instead short cliffs & crags hidden in the steep madrona, fir & hemlock forests on the flanks of the mountain. For decades a virtual backwater of the Washington climbing experience, it now seems perched on the edge of a renaissance as the growing number of modern climbs become more widely known (this visitor went on a weekday in April & was alone on the mountain). Three main features: Powerline Wall, The Snag Buttress & Summit Wall. Climbing type: sport, moderate trad routes, & a few mixed routes (good opportunities for top rope also) Gear: small rack of gear to 3 inches & quickdraws. Most routes can be descended with a single 50-meter rope. Rock type: diorite, highly textured & featured, excellent to climb on but few continuous cracks & cliffs of any significant size. Weather: located in the rain shadow of the Olympics, so offers the potential for dry climbing year round. March to October best, always bring layers. Camping: no camping on Mount Erie, but several campgrounds nearby. Further Reference: Weekend Rock (WA) by David Whitelaw & Climbing Mount Erie by Dallas Kloke.
Drive time from Seattle: 1.5 hours Approach times: 5-30 minutes Getting there: Exit I-5 at Burlington and take SR 20 west for about 15 minutes. Make left at obvious stoplight & (still on SR 20) head out towards Deception Pass (worth seeing on its own). In a few miles reach a fork & trend right on Campbell Lake Road. Mount Erie will be visible on the right. In a few more miles the Mount Erie Grocery (stop for beer or Kloke's guide book) marks the right-hand turn onto Heart Lake Road, & in one more mile the state road to the top will branch off to the right. Several miles up the winding road leads to the summit parking areas.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mount Erie:
Start sitting with the same left facing sidepull and scrunched feet as the arete. Work through some hard moves up and right. establish your feet on the two obvious ledges with hands on opposing sidepulls. A long reach or dyno with the right hand gets you to a great topout. Really good moves!...[more]Browse More Classics in WA
Dallas Kloke is perhaps the person most reponsible for establishing, developing, and caring for Mt. Erie. The amount of work creating real trails (instead of social trails everywhere), scrubbing moss off of routes, clearing dead debris and branches away, taking fledgling climbers under his wing, and perhaps most importantly chronicling all of the routes has helped Mt. Erie become all that it is for those of us who have climbed there.
Dallas passed away while decending 4th class (but exposed) rock in the North Cascades when a hold broke and he fell to his death in September of 2010. He was a man of deep faith in God and Jesus Christ, and he was my climbing mentor for about the first 6 years that I climbed. Dallas, you are missed but your kindness, devotion, and love for Mt. Erie will not be forgotten.
The annual Dallas Kloke Mt. Erie Work Day is coming up on Saturday, April 20. Work projects in the morning and climbing in the afternoon. Photographers will be there to capture great climbing shots for the upcoming 2nd Edition of the Mt. Erie Guidebook.