Excited to hike Snoqualmie Mountain as it is on the Mountaineers Snoqualmie Pin list and Home Court 100. Started out on the trail about noon. Was expecting a hard hike, but have seen some great trip reports, especially by Gobazov who completed and wrote about an epic traverse. Upon starting the trail we met three gentlemen who had descended, we thought from either Snoqualmie Mountain or Guye Peak.
They said it was a stair climb and asked if we had hiked or known the mountain. It’s our first time, but Joe and I have done a few things. I’m in decent shape, yet found the trail a bit challenging. The early trail quickly steepens and ascends into an unrelenting climb over rocks, roots, and streams, for nearly 1000 feet – as clearly indicated by the topo. The trail is rough at times, yet most of the rocks and stones make for good steps and footing – clearly a stair climb. The weather was very foggy and cloudy, so our visibility the entire was up was very limited.
At about 4000 feet the forest canopy opened up revealing strewn rocks and boulders from a rockfall long ago. Cliffs are looming in the distance and we approached the fork to Guye Peak. We kept left following the trail as it continued to climb, ever steep into the gully on the way to Snoqualmie Mountain. Finally, the trail leveled at about 4500 feet and crossed a dry streambed and waterfall. The rock here is spectacular and must be a sight when water if slowing – definitely something to see in fall or spring. From here the trail climbed again – up dirt and tree roots, rather steep, ascending a gully and finally gaining the ridge to Snoqualamie around 4800 feet. As we gained altitude, the terrain became more open, and the subalpine fields emerged. Great rock formations cover the ridge, with small evergreen trees providing for a beautiful landscape. The fog was so dense, we could not see the valley floor below, nor Cave Ridge which normally would be in full view. We continued the climb, straight up the ridge, crisscrossing the peak with small switchbacks, perhaps 10 feet in length, zig-zagging up the hill. There appeared to be a few false summits, however, my altimeter clearly showed more room for climbing. As the trail ascended and steepened, it skirted a very steepening ridge, ledge, with a significant dropoff to the right, which only became steeper, deeper, and closer to the trail. Mindful of my footing, I continued to climb – peering over the drop – the fog obscured a full view so it was challenging to put the magnitude of the drop off in perspective. It appears to be a very interesting basin that leads to Lundin Peak. Finally, I reached the false summit which must have spectacular views. As with many of my hikes this season, we had the foul weather view, which makes for cool cloudy photos. We found no summit register but did find the USGS marker. We made our way down, finding the footing easier going up.
This is a difficult hike – some of you have trip reports with great times up and long traverse. The footing is challenging both ways. Be prepared to be mentally sharp and manage your footing – that said, this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable hikes I have done in the area, and am looking forward to exploring Guye Peak and maybe do a traverse of Lundin and other peaks. I will definitely hike this on a clear day. More pictures of the ascent, area, and trail and conditions are available in my AllTrails link below.