Bonanza Peak

Important details

  • You must be at the bus before 10:15 AM, since they pack the luggage and move the luggage truck before then. The bus doesn't actually leave till 10:45 AM, but get there early.

Getting there

Getting to Bonanza is a challenge. The only way there is by ferry (yes, there's not even some rough 4WD forest roads to get there).

Chelan to Holden Dock (ferry)

Drive to the Lady Of The Lake in Chelan, WA (3 hours from Bellevue). View the high season schedule here for the ferry.

Holden Dock to Holden (bus)

The bus only comes when guests are staying in Holden. So either stay there, or contact them and see if the bus will be coming when you're going there.

Approach

From Holden, it's about 3 hours up 3,100 ft gain to camp. Make sure to register your climbing party in town first.

Once in Holden Village, check into the "Hike Haus" to register the summit party. Then proceed hiking west out of town, to either Holden Lake or Holden Pass for camp. From Holden Village, hike west for 0.9 miles until the trail junction with Holden Lake Trail. Turn right onto Holden Lake Trail and hike 4.0 miles to the lake.

Lake to pass

From the lake, you'll continue around the right side through some terrible bushwacking. Some people say bring a machete - we tried that. You would need branch clippers, the branches are way too thick and woody.

After the bushwacking, you continue up the right side of the gully towards the path, following a faint trail.

Pass (campsite) to waterfall ledge

Continue up the ridge on a faint trail, and then you'll come to the "waterfall ledges".

Waterfall ledge

We found it easiest to ascend the first waterfall you pass on the right. But there was a moat starting to form on July 7th in 2018, so this might be difficult to access if the moat gets bigger later in the year.

Ascending this route, there's one class 4 move, with two fixed nuts just above it, so you can belay others up if necessary. This route also places you on some great snow, so it seems like the ideal route to take.

It sounds like others continue straight and walk beneath a couple of waterfalls. That potential route is shown in the photos below along with the first waterfall we took.

Waterfall to snow finger

After the waterfall, continue hiking the snowfields, staying close to the cliffs on the right side. When you get into the basin, you'll head for the snow finger at the base of Bonanza on the right.

Snow finger

The snow finger is where the bergshrund can form and cut off the route. You'll want to ascend up the snow as much as possible, and then transfer onto the rock to start the scramble.

Scramble to summit

The scramble has lots of loose rock, including large rocks that look stable. Lots of care must be taken. It's recommended to stay left of the anchors, but right of the gully, in general.