OverviewMt. McGuire is a wonderful climb within America's largest Wilderness area. It could be climbed in a day, but with a long drive and a long approach, it is best climbed as part of a backpack trip. If you are going to take the time to reach the trailhead, it is best to spend a few days enjoying this pristine area.
ApproachStart at the Crags trailhead. At 2 miles you will reach a junction. Take the middle trail. At 3.5 miles you reach a junction for Cathedral Lake (right to the lake). Stay straight on the mail ridge trail. At 4.5 miles you reach a junction for Waterfalls Canyon trail (to the left). Stay on the main trail. Head up and over Fishfin Pass. At the next junction head right towards Birdbill, Gentian, and Airplane Lake.
Once at Birdbill Lake (9 miles from the TH), continue on the trail to the saddle overlooking Airplane and Ship Island lake. Stop on the saddle (elevation aprox. 8800 ft).