This imposing looking classic at the pass offers multiple fun routes to the summit. Great scrambling and panoramic vistas await.

There are quite a few ways up Guye Peak ranging from a simple walk up to multiple pitches of technical rock climbing.  Both of the routes described here start from the PCT parking lot north of exit 52 of I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass.  Some of the scrambling described would be treacherous in wet or snowy conditions, so make sure things are dry before you head out!

The Approach

Start on the PCT for a couple hundred feet until you see a somewhat overgrown trail heading off to the left.  Follow this trail, the old Commonwealth Basin Trail.  It is rough a bit overgrown in parts but it is easy enough to follow.  Continue until you reach a log bridge with wire over it (for traction).  Cross the bridge and then take a left.  You will come to another small stream which you must cross and then you'll take a right on the other side.  From here the trail becomes less clear and sometimes has water running down it if it's rained recently or if there is snow melting. 

Options 1 - Scramble Route (to South Summit)

Once you take a right past the second (small) stream you will continue for less than a quarter of a mile.  At some point you need to just head off the trail to the left and up the steep slope.  There is no trail from here but as long as you continue up you are going the right way.  There are different ways to get to the real rock scramble but I usually traverse right if I encounter steep rock at this point until you can gain a Brushy ledge that will allow you to traverse back to the left above the cliffy sections below.  This is the most annoying part of the route (not recommended in wet conditions) and you must 'bushwhack' trending up and to the left.  Eventually you will break free of the trees.   Now you are a looking for another somewhat narrow ledge that will allow you to wrap around from the east side of the mountain to the south.  If it's clear it will be obvious it's the right ledge because you have an awesome view of Snoqualmie Pass Ski area and Rainier poking it's head out.  Once on the ledge follow it past a couple exposed (but not terribly difficult) moves that will take you to easier rock above.  There are multiple options from here, but now it is time to go up!  I usually end up on class 3/4 terrain here.   It is more or less choose your own adventure to the top from here.  You will pass numerous wooded ledges and have multiple options that will allow you to make upward progress.  If it feels too difficult then look around some more before committing.  Eventually things level out a bit and you will be able to make your way to the South (true) summit of Guye peak.  While you do deserve a pat on the back as most people only make it as far as the North (lower) summit, your difficulties are not over yet. To reach the South summit and the recommended way down you must get to the North summit.

Traverse from South To North summit

Rrelatively easy scrambling will take you along the top of the ridge traversing the middle summit to a notch between the North and South summits.  From here head down a gully to the right (east).  This section is treacherous if there is snow or the rock is wet, so it's best to be confident in conditions before attempting to return this way.  Head down the slabby gully (class 3 and solid holds on the left side as you descend).  Once you get down far enough you can traverse to the left to the bottom of another gully and head up (class 3). The top of the 2nd gully pops you out 60 ft below the north summit and right on the hiking trail you can take back down to commonwealth basin.

Option 2 - Hiking Route (To North Summit)

After taking a right past the second (small) creek crossing you will continue to follow the 'trail'.  After a bit more than a quarter of a mile it cuts left and heads up the steep eastern flanks of Guye Peak.  After gaining more than 1000ft from the basin floor you reach a junction.  If you accidentally miss the junction the trail will start heading downhill which is how you will know you've gone too far.  You must take a left at the junction (to the South) when you reach it.  This trail will continue up and pass a tarn and a few rocky sections but isn't more than a steep hike IMO.  Follow it to the top and you will reach at the North Summit of Guye!  It is a rocky peak that offers views down to the valleys below.  If you are feeling adventurous you can continue on to the South summit via a class 3 scramble.

Traverse from North To South Summit

From the top of the North summit, head back the way you came.  About 60ft below the north summit there is a steep gully heading east.  It is on the right if you are descending or left if you are ascending.  Go down the gully but be careful not to knock any rocks down on anyone below you.  After descending a few hundred feet you will be able to traverse to the right to the base of another gully that has a bit of a leftward trending slab.  This section might be intimidating for the uninitiated scrambler, but there are solid holds on the right side.  It isn't any more difficult than class 3.  Do not attempt this if there is snow in the gully or if the rock is wet.  Ascend the second gully and you will come to a notch between the North and middle summits.  From here head left over the middle summit. Relatively easy scrambling will take you to the third, South summit. Look for a summit register where you can sign your name!  When you are done enjoying the view you can retrace your steps back to the North Summit and down the trail you came from.

Once you get back to your car go reward your efforts at the pass.  The Commonwealth tavern has tasty burgers and they serve Dru Bru beer from next door.

Here is a track that can be downloaded to your phone or GPS.  This track takes the Scramble route up and the trail down.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Camera
  • Shoes with good traction (trail runners or hiking boots work fine)
  • GPS is helpful as trail is sometimes hard to follow (or there is no trail)
  • Helmet if you do the scramble.
Show More
RT Distance 4.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 2200 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic

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