Grubstake Peak and the point where the Summit House of Crystal Mountain are located are within 10 feet of elevation of each other. With 400 feet of prominence Grubstake Peak is surely considered to be an official summit. The Summit House is the civilized version of the peak area with a restaurant located right on the top. But according to a number of survey this area is shorter than the true summit of Grubstake which is just 50 foot vertical gain walk up from one the ski areas to the true summit. The true summit of Grubstake is also with a number of measuring devises on it and some metal poles on the true summit. The prominence between the two sub peaks is only 40 feet so this peak truly is just a double peaked summit.
Because Grubstake Peak is part of the ski area both the restaurant on top and the true summit of Grubstake Peak can be reached the easy way by chairlift in winter. With the new gondola that opened at Crystal Mountain the the summit is also easily accessible in summer when the gondola is open. There are some weekday and spring and fall when it is not open.
For those like myself who prefer hike and climb from bottom to top this peak does have a number of trails and route that get you to the true summit. These routes are not open in winter due to active skiing. But once the ski resort either shut down for the year or is limited to the weekend heading up to Grubstake Peak can be a fine spring snowshoe and snow-climb.
Views from this summit are terrific. Both Mount Rainier and Mount Adams truly show themselves from this mountain. Also hundreds of over mountains can be seen from this special mountain. The one of Mount Rainier is what though clearly sells this mountain for the views.
VIA 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 Grubstake 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 unless you have a gondola ticket ($18) and are willing to boot the short distance to the summit. However when the ski resort is closed this peak makes a great snowclimb and is rewarding in late spring.
When 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 Links The 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.