Silver Queen is the second highest summit in the general Crystal Mountain area. During the wintertime and ski season this summit is accessible via a lift and the mountain serves a mecca for those search for double diamond bowls and glade skiing. In spring and summer when the ski resort either shuts down on the weekdays or when the resort shuts down all together this peak can be quiet a special gem with stellar views of both Mount Rainier and Mount Adams and terrific views of the surrounding countryside. Personally for the best results on Silver Queen, climb the peak while the ski resort is open on the weekend but not the weekday. The snow is very nice to travel up and one can get a true mountaineering feel by climbing this peak at that time.
If accessing the summit of Silver Queen not by lift service there are a number of route to this summit. It should be noted that the north ridge route is closed off during the winter on the north ridge that connects Silver Queen to Grubstake Point and the summit house. There is only one sign and we missed it. In winter that section is a very high risk for avalanches. The ridge from the southeast can be just as tricky. The climber literally has to climb up the steep slope or traverse from a south ridge to the true summit.
All routes up Silver Queen in spring require some knowledge and use of an ice axe and each route goes over steeper terrain. Like many peaks in the Crystal Mountain area Silver Queen can contain a number of very large cornices so when climb up in spring use caution and keep in mind avalanche danger when climbing the mountain.
Getting ThereVIA THE CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN SKI AREA: From Enumclaw take 410 east for 33 miles until just before reaching the gate of Mt. Rainier National Park. In winter this road will be gated just passed the Crystal Mountain Road. Make a left on Crystal Mountain Blvd (7190) (paved) go roughly 6 miles to the main ski area.
Red TapeWHEN GOING INTO THE BACKCOUNTRY YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CHECKIN WITH THE SKI PATROL AND SHOW YOUR INTENDED DESTINATION. IN ADDITION IF YOU PLAN ON STAYING OVERNIGHT YOU WILL HAVE TO PARK IN A DESIGNATED SPOT OVERNIGHT WITH YOUR INTENDED ROUTE LISTED ON THE VEHICLE.
No fees required at Crystal Mountain to park. However you must stay off the established ski trails at all times. It should be noted that Silver Queen is actually part of the ski resort and within boundary limits. Therefore it is advised not to climb this peak when the ski resort is open. However when the ski resort is closed this peak makes a great snowclimb and is rewarding in spring.
CampingWhen the ski resort is open there is no camping allowed on this summit. The summit is in the active part of the ski area and actually has a lift to the summit in winter.
External LinksThe best page to find local weather and local conditions on Silver Queen and neighboring mountains in the region.
The best website for trip report on Silver Queen and other Cascade Mountains in the region.