From the McGee Creek trailhead, follow the trail for 10 miles to McGee Pass. The first four miles are through the lower portion of McGee Canyon which can be quite warm in summer. Because of this (and the length of the hike) it is advisable to get an early start. Shortly before the junction to the Scheelore Mine Trail, the trail enters a much cooler wooded area at around 9,000 ft. The next three miles pass through pleasant pine forests and offer ample camping opportunities. By the time you reach Big McGee Lake the trees have nearly disappeared and you enter the alpine zone. This is a very pretty area, but short-lived. Soon you are climbing through the upper portions of the canyon that are generally just boulders or snow, depending on the season. In early to mid-summer there is much snow for the last mile or two to the pass. An axe or poles are useful for balance in this case. Try to reach this point before the snow is too soft. At the pass take a breather and enjoy the view. You still have 1,300ft of climbing from this point.
The ascent of the Southeast Slope is not difficult and doesn't require any significant route-finding. You can choose to climb the SE Ridge directly from the pass and this will go class 2, but it is somewhat more difficult and will take longer than dropping down a short distance to the Southeast Slope and climbing that.
None needed, aside from an axe in for climbing the north side of McGee Pass in early to mid-summer.
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