Kyes Peak

Kyes (rhymes with size) Peak is the highest summit of the Monte Cristo group. It's starting point is the very popular, the Blanca Lake Trailhead. This scramble can be done as a strenuous one-day trip with a very likely return in the dark or as an overnight with a camp at Virgin Lake.

getting there

from Index

From US-2 at Index, turn north onto Index-Galena Road (Forest Road 63). Drive 16 miles and bear left into the Blanca Lake Trailhead (1,900 ft).

Road Closure Note: This the typical approach to Blanca Lake, but the Index-Galena Road (Forest Road 63) is flood-damaged between Milepost 6 and 7. Though not driveable, it can be walked, adding a 4 miles round trip. Keep up-to-date on the closure on the Snohomish County Index-Galena Road web page and the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Nation Forest Index-Galena (FS Road 63) web page.

from Skykomish

Drive US-2 west of Milepost 50 and just east of Skykomish. Turn north onto Beckler Road (Forest Road 65), drive ~12.5 miles to Jack Pass and go straight to stay on Forest Road 65. Drive ~2.5 miles and turn right onto Index-Galena Road (Forest Road 63). Drive ~2 miles and bear left into the Blanca Lake Trailhead (1,900 ft).

Approach & ascent

Hike the Blanca Lake Trail to Virgin Lake (4,600 ft), a great place to camp if you make this a multi-day trip. From Virgin Lake, take the south ridge going northeast. You may have to stay on the east side to traverse the ridge.  The trail levels out at 5,300 ft. Head onto the west side of the ridge at 5,845 ft, and then up steep slopes, avoiding cliff bands.  Cross a boulder field at 6,300 ft and then aim for a gap at Point 7026. There is some Class 4 scrambling to the summit.

  • Difficulty: Strenuous 5, Technical 5
  • Length: 13.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,500 ft
  • 7,284 ft
  • Green Trails Monte Cristo No. 143
  • USGS Blanca Lake
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