Old Commonwealth Creek Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,334' 711 m
Descent: -44' -13 m
High: 5,339' 1,627 m
Low: 3,049' 929 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 70% (35°)
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“A rugged and tough trail leading up toward Red Mountain.”— Chris Zacny
You'll cross the creek a few times and eventually link up with the more established section of the Commonwealth Creek Trail. There were several nice looking campsites along the creek section of trail.
Head up the trail and begin climbing up onto the flanks of Red Mountain. To the west, Snoqualmie Mountain will become visible.
You'll reach an intersection with a trail heading to the west; I'd recommend continuing north for 100 yards or so for a nice resting spot at Red Pond. Refill your water bottles here if you haven't already, then backtrack to the aforementioned intersection. Keep heading west, and you'll soon come to a junction with the Red Mountain Summit Trail. This difficult 40-60 degree incline up the mountain is steep and difficult. If you choose to take this route, make sure you're prepared. I'd definitely recommend trekking poles, but my hiking partner went without them. Also, I'd recommend climbing helmets to avoid any falling rocks. As a point of reference, I'd consider this steeper and harder than the push to the Mailbox Peak summit.
As an alternative to the scramble up Red Mountain, you can continue on the Old Commonwealth Creek Trail, roughly where the scramble begins, but continue heading north, instead of starting the scramble. This will lead up to a ridge above Red Pond called Red Pass.
Overall, I'd recommend using a solid GPS or the Hiking Project mobile app, in addition to routefinding skills if you attempt this hike. There aren't many signs, so you need to recognize where you are in the landscape. That said, the trail is in good shape and makes for a fun journey.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed
Land Manager: USFS - Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forest Office