Chikamin Peak

A difficult scramble covering approximately 24 miles and 5,400 feet of elevation gain in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. It is often visible from I-90 looking up the Gold Creek Valley. With its length and plentiful camping along the Pacific Crest Trail, it's best done as a 2-3 day trip. Enjoy bountiful views over the Snoqualmie "Alps," amazing lake camping, and a Class 3 scramble finish.

Getting there

From I-90, exit in Cle Elum for SR903. Follow it past Cle Elum and shortly after the lake turn left onto NFD46. Stay straight on 46 - the trailhead is at the end of the road. 

Approach & ascent

From Mineral Creek Trailhead take trail to Park Lakes. Trail then goes on ridge between the two lakes and meets the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  Take PCT in direction of Snoqualmie Pass.  Travel the PCT for a short distance and leave it just after a pack camp at 5,200 ft.

Head for saddle between Peak 5402 and Peak 6300.  There is a boot path visible just where the Pacific Crest Trail begins to head west.  From saddle continue to follow boot path and head toward east side of Glacier Lake and around it until you come to a large talus field (gully with a drainage). There is a large rock sitting vertically on its side several hundred feet above the talus field but it may not be seen from the lake.  This rock identifies the gully and drainage on the north side of Glacier Lake which you should take to reach the small lake (unnamed) above and northwest of Glacier Lake. The drainage may be dry or a trickle in late summer.

There is a boot path which is lost among the large rocks but picked up periodically on heather.  From the small, unnamed lake above Glacier Lake, travel along the south side of the lake then head generally easterly to south easterly up large rock and heather faces to saddle south of Chikamin Peak.  Saddle is reached at approximately 6,200 ft (alternatively one can easily gain the ridge north of the saddle at approximately 6,400 ft).  From the saddle head northerly to the summit.  There is a faint boot path.

Alternative Route

At Park Lakes, from the upper lake, ascend the saddle to its southwest and then turn up the mixed heather and slab slopes to attain Chikamin Ridge a bit northwest of its saddle with Four Brothers; an excellent opportunity to practice slab technique.  Ascend ridge to where it broadens out to a gully and then the heather dappled slopes on the gully’s right

At the summit block angle up and left on slabs and benches, aiming for a noticeable slot angling back right.  The slot contains about a 10 ft well protected vertical chimney.  Another 75 feet of easy scrambling leads to the summit.

  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 5, Technical 4
  • Length: 24.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,400 ft
  • 7,000 ft
  • USGS Polallie Ridge
  • USGS Chikamin Peak

Upcoming Activities

Alpine Scramble - Chikamin Peak

Scrambling Trip
Leisurely trip so best of 4 days out of 6 posted if weather allows. Otherwise,
Difficulty: Strenuous 5, Technical 4
Wed, Jul 3, 2019 - Sun, Jul 7, 2019
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
5 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Jun 29
Seattle Branch

Alpine Scramble - Chikamin Peak

Scrambling Trip
Best 3 weather days: Day 1 - hike to Glacier Lake base camp + summit
Difficulty: Strenuous 5, Technical 4
Fri, Aug 30, 2019 - Mon, Sep 2, 2019
6 participants
Registration opens Aug 1
Seattle Branch
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