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Red Mountain TNAB Hike

(near Snoqualmie pass, Washington State)

GPS Data: Map, Track, Waypoints

Click here for TOPO.EXE v3.4.3 TPO file.
Click here for Garmin MAPSOURCE v4.13 MPS file.

Click here for a zip file of the MAPSOURCE.EXE text file export of waypoints, descriptions and trackpoints.

TNAB Hikes are not for the faint of heart. During the season we meet every Thursday in the Eastgate parking lot at 5pm. We hike fast. We hike in the rain. We hike in the snow. We hike in the dark. We don't always follow the beaten path. If you want to join us, click TNAB.

click map to see larger version

click map to see larger version

Description of the hike:

Distance: 6.0 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 2800 feet
Enjoy the great parking here where the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) heads from Snoqualmie pass north to Canada. Your trail to Red Mountain however, follows an abandoned section of the old Cascade Crest Trail. The PCT starts in the same place but avoids much of the beauty and character of Commonwealth basin by immediately traversing high up onto the western slopes of Kendall Peak(s). Be clear. Your trail is NOT the PCT. Your trail is much prettier though rougher as it cruises northeast and north under rugged mountains, through beautiful, old forest, groves of huckleberries and occasionally follows Commonwealth creek. The first 0.3 miles are rough (ROUGH!) and gain 500 quick feet into the basin where the trail becomes gradual and downright pleasant for the next 1.5 miles. Then the trail climbs a steady 1000 feet to the base of Red Mountain and the bench containing Red Pond (mostly a shallow mud hole). From here the terrain opens up and the trail gets serious, climbing steep and exposed on dirt and loose rock for the last 1000+ feet to the summit where you will be treated with views of... lots more mountains ;-)  Both the PCT and the CCT serve Commonwealth Basin, Kendall Peak(s), the Kendall Katwalk/Catwalk, Red Mountain, Red Pass and parts north. The CCT is more direct, more rugged and involves several stream crossings. Not all the forks are marked or obvious so pay attention or you might end up at the Canadian border ! 

Directions to trailhead:

Drive I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass. Take exit 52 (the western most (of the three exits that serve the pass area). Turn left and go under the freeway. As the road curves to the left immediately on your right is the access to trailhead parking. Note this is marked as Pacific Crest Trail access. There is an upper and a lower parking lot here. The lower lot is the closest to the official trailhead.

Directions for the hike:

First off, if you start in the upper parking lot there is an trail in the northeast corner that gives you a bit of a shortcut - Follow this windy, bushy path for about 50 yards to a junction. Turn left and you are on your way. From the lower parking lot find the trailhead at the eastern end. You'll follow the PCT for about 50 yards, past one unmarked fork and immediately a second one that looks like an old road. Go left. After a rough 0.7 miles and 500 feet gain, the trail will join the creek. Cross to the west side wherever you can. It's shallow but you might have to get creative. (Note, the old crossing log with the chicken wire is gone). It's easy to miss this spot because the trail appears to continue along the east bank but then turns away from the creek and soon peters out. So, cross the creek and continue northeast for about half a mile. Here you'll cross the creek again. (Note: It's easy to miss this particular crossing on the way out !). Continue north a little ways to a marked intersection. A sign declares the trail behind you to be "abandoned". Another sign directs you to the right for Red Mountain and Commonwealth Creek. It's not marked but if you go right, a short connector trail will take you to the PCT. Go Left. You'll now spend the next mile gaining 1000 feet to the small, flat area at the base of Red Mountain. Here the trail continues on to Red Pond and then allegedly up to Red Pass. Take the unmarked fork to the right straight up the mountain for another 1000+ feet. This part of the trail starts out obvious but quickly disappears amidst the loose rock.

Choose your path carefully here. If you knock anything loose, yell "ROCK!" really loudly, even if you don't think anyone is below you. Try not to hike directly above or below anyone else.

It doesn't matter much which way you go, all roads are very steep, loose, rocky and lead to the summit. Less exposed and less rocky tends to be on your right going up.

Beyond here there be dragons

Guye Peak

Red Mountain

Thompson foreground, Huckleberry, Chikamin background

More mountains than you can shake a stick at...

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Last modified: 01/17/11