• Activities:

    Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2800 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Demanding hike with a class 3-4 scramble that offers superb views of the entire Snoqualmie Pass and Commonwealth Basin areas.

Kendall Peak is an easily accessible summit hike just off of Exit 52 of I-90 that offers spectacular 360-degree views of the entire Snoqualmie range. You’ll start out in the PCT parking lot where you’ll need a NW Forest Pass to park, or pay the daily fee. A permanent bathroom and backcountry access permits are available here, too.

There are two trail options to reach the upper portion of the PCT, which will lead you to a few summit route options.

The first way to ascend is via the Commonwealth Basin Trail. Start out on the PCT for only a couple hundred feet before reaching an unmaintained and overgrown trail on your left, the Commonwealth Creek Trail. Follow this narrow and bushy path over mixed rocks and dirt, where you’ll cross the Commonwealth Creek twice before taking a right on the official Commonwealth Basin Trail. In just a few hundred feet you’ll rejoin the PCT by taking a sharp left and following the switchbacks up to your summit route options. This map should help.

The second, easier, yet longer option is via the Pacific Crest Trail. Follow the PCT out of the parking lot for two miles before turning right to go uphill and start gaining the switchbacks that lead you up to Kendall.

Once on the switchbacks of the PCT, you’ll find a moderately trafficked bootpath that will let you walk on up to the summit ridge. Alternatively, you can continue to follow the trail all the way to the east side of the ridge, where you reach a pass, and where you will gain the ridge and embark on a class 3-4 scramble up to the summit. Watch out for loose rock on this route.

Had you continued past the pass on the PCT, you would have reached the Kendall Katwalk – a great extension to this hike. Looking south of the summit ridge, you’ll be able to see the two alpine Kendall Peak Lakes. Enjoy the panoramic Cascade views at the summit and be sure to watch each step on your way down!

Photo credit: Gabe O'Leary.

Pack List

  • NW Forest Parking Pass
  • Sturdy hiking or scrambling shoes
  • Gaiters for loose rock and scree
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Sun protection
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Reviews

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While this area does get crowded on the weekend it is one of my favorite spots to go before or after work on a week day. The trail head is just off the highway (read easily accessible) and it's a manageable distance for a quick jaunt (if you move fast). The views are awesome, and the trail is well maintained, although I usually take the shortcut on the Commonwealth Basin trail. Best to have a GPS (app) if you take this route. I also highly recommend the Scramble route to the summit that is accessed by continuing to follow the PCT past the (boring) bootpath to the summit. I would say it goes at class 3 maybe 4 if you choose the more interesting variations and try to stay on the ridge the whole time(if it gets too difficult on the ridge just move to one side or the other to easier terrain until you can regain the ridge). Pretty solid rock and not that spicy.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Rachel Davidson Explorer

Mountain climbing, trail running, and writing all about it. New to Seattle! Hit me up to show me around or go on an adventure.

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