Chikamin Peak in the cloud with the Four Brothers in the foreground from the Pacific Crest Trail.

Chikamin Peak, 7,000'!

in the Snoqualmie Peaks, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

June 25, 2005


 

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Chikamin Peak is in the Snoqualmie Peaks along the Pacific Crest Trail up and over the Kendall Katwalk. When Skiing Hyak it is the prominent peak you'll see at the head of the Gold Creek Basin along the Snoqualmie Crest. It is a great trip near Seattle.

Beginning at the popular Pacific Crest Trail on Snoqualmie Pass near Guye Cabin, it is about 14 miles North on the PCT. A shorter way is via Mineral Creek and Park Lakes. The Mineral Creek Trailhead is reached by going through Roslyn, along the shore of the Cle Elum Lake on the Salmon la Sac road, and finally turning left on Forest Road 46. This turn is the second left after the Cle Elum River Campground.  10 miles later there is the Mineral Creek Trailhead.

After the first mile, the Mineral Creek Trail is basically 4 miles of thick brush all the way to Park Lakes. I don't think the trail has been brushed out in 10 years! Not being able to see the Trail caused many slips and slides and stumbles.

Chikamin Peak from along the ridge from the Four Brothers.

This was a long traverse along talus, heather, and through, around, and over gullies.

Park Lakes is a fantastically beautiful spot for camping along the Pacific Crest Trail. Heading South on the PCT it was one mile up and over Chikamin Pass to Ptarmigan Park. Here I had a great view of the Four Brothers, Chikamin Peak, Huckleberry, and Thompson. 

I hiked the PCT about 1 mile then headed up off trail to the ridge under the Four Brothers. I didn't lose as much elevation, although I wound up traversing for a much longer time and distance. The final summit block is some easy class 3.

Looking Northeast to the Three Queens from the summit of Chikamin!

Glacier Lake and Spectacle Lake can be seen.

Wow, what a view

The summit register showed only about 8 parties a year makes this ascent. I was the second person of 2005. Almost always in summit registers are names of my friends and Washington Alpine Club members I know or recognize, but this was not the case on this day.

A not very relaxed looking Mike on the Chikamin Peak summit.

 

For the descent I went down the gully under the peak for over 1,000' to the PCT. In early season this could be done entirely on snow. 

In the short time I spent on the PCT I managed to get the PCT news that travels up and down the Trail from Canada to Mexico. I heard that there were 6 parties coming from Stevens Pass. I learned that many through hikers were starting this year at the Canadian Border and traveling South through Washington first since we had so little snow, and the High Sierra has so much.

Looking towards Alaska Lake, Huckleberry, Thompson, and Kendall Katwalk.

This is a great trip from Seattle on a little climbed peak in beautiful area. Nevertheless it was a challenging day.

9 hours, 16 miles round trip. Elevation gain of 4,600'. 


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