Goblin Mountain is a peak located in Snohomish County, Washington. At 5606' elevation, the peak is one of the lowest-elevation named-summits in the Monte Cristo group of mountains. Seldom summited, Goblin Mountain is often neglected in favor of its higher neighbor peaks. Despite this, Goblin Mountain provides an excellent viewpoint for more-popular mountaineering peaks such as Glacier Peak, Sloan Peak, Painted Mountain, Cadet Peak, Monte Cristo Peak, Kyes Peak, and Bald Eagle Mountain, among many others.
Prior to 1946, Goblin Mountain was occasionally mismarked on maps as a rocky highpoint now known as Kyes Peak. The actual Goblin Mountain was (and still is) located on the parallel ridgeline located east of Kyes Peak. The first known ascent of Goblin Mountain was by Thomas Gerdine in 1897. Goblin is perhaps most notable by its column-like summit pinnacle. Although the standard routes to the summit are considered non-technical, the summit pinnacle itself has proven difficult to climb onto for even experienced mountaineers. Most summiters of the mountain just get as far up the pinnacle as they can and/or reach to the top with their hands rather than attempting to climb onto the top. The summit block is most climbable on its SSE side.
The mountain can be climbed any season of the year. However, avalanche danger needs to be monitored during snowy Winter and Spring months, and thick brush needs to be considered during Summer and Autumn months.
There are two small alpine lakes located near the mountain. Goblin Lake is located directly west of Goblin Mountain, but due to the peak's steep western slopes the lake might be most attainable by traversing and bushwhacking up Goblin Creek to the lake. Quartz Lake is located near the ridgetop located NW of the peak, and can be reached via a northbound ridgetop hike from Goblin Mountain or a westbound ridge hike from Curry Gap. Both lakes are fed by snowmelt and icemelt, but due to their geographic remoteness both tend to be nearly completely frozen-over for most of each year. In fact, both lakes being frozen-over throughout an entire year is not an uncommon occurrence. Any person fortunate enough to see the lakes even partially unfrozen during late Summer/early Fall will almostly certainly not be disappointed by the crystal-like blue and green colors of the water.
Getting ThereDue to very steep and rugged slopes on most sides of the peak, the standard approaches for Goblin Mountain tend to originate from the Quartz Creek Trail #1050.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO QUARTZ CREEK TRAIL #1050:
1) Along Highway 2 a short distance east of Skykomish, turn left (north) onto Forest Service Road #6500 (a.k.a. FS-65, Beckler River Road).
2) Follow FS-65 for 14.4 miles, until an intersection with FS-63.
3) Turn right onto FS-63 and follow for 4.2 miles to the Quartz Creek Trailhead (~2500' elevation). There are three trailheads at the parking area; Quartz Creek Trail begins on the north side of the parking area.
HIKING DIRECTIONS FROM QUARTZ CREEK TRAIL #1050:
STANDARD OPTION #1:
1) Hike north along Quartz Creek Trail for approximately 2.5 miles.
2) Begin hiking off-trail, heading west and crossing Quartz Creek.
3) Steeply ascend through thick forested slopes in a NW direction, crossing several small streams, trying to end up either on a tiny west-east ridge located south of Goblin Mountain or on the north side of that tiny ridge.
4) Follow the ridge, or open gully north of the ridge, west for a short distance to a saddle (~4900' elevation) on a north-south ridge (part of "Storm Ridge") located due south of Goblin Mountain.
5) Follow the ridgetop north to Goblin Mountain. Try to heads towards the SSE side of the summit pinnacle.
ROUNDTRIP HIKING DISTANCE: 8.0-9.0 Miles
STANDARD OPTION #2:
1) Hike north along Quartz Creek Trail for approximately 4.0 miles. For reference, Curry Gap would only be less than 0.5 miles further north along the trail.
2) Begin hiking off-trail, crossing Quartz Creek and heading due west through a meadow area located NE of Goblin Mountain.
3) Steeply ascend south up the thick forested ridge located ENE of Goblin Mountain.
4) Once on the ridgetop, continue following the ridge SW to the summit of Goblin Mountain.
ROUNDTRIP HIKING DISTANCE: 11.0-12.0 Miles
Red TapeA Northwest Forest Pass (i.e. parking permit) is required for parking at/near the Quartz Creek Trailhead.
Motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited on Quartz Creek Trail.
As the mountain is located within Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, Wilderness Area regulations apply. Contact the Skykomish Ranger Station, for current trail information and regulations.
Maximum group size is 12, including animals.