North Ridge of Twin Peaks

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 47.61266°N / 121.60365°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Additional Information Route Type: Scrambling
Seasons Season: Fall
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


The ridge connecting the two peaks of the Twin Peaks summits is a north-south ridge that separates Philippa Creek on the west from the Loch Katrine drainage on the east. The ridge extends north, past the north Twin, extending all the way to the North Fork of the Snoqualmie.

The ridge itself is rather nice going: never too bushy, steep-sided on both the east and west to keep it interesting, and occassionaly graced with a climber's trail. The route generally stays directly on the crest, with occassional short forays (usually to the west) to avoid difficulties.

Getting There

There is a logging road that rises out of the North Fork of the Snoqualmie to about 4000 feet on the northern end of this ridge, directly to the west, and above, Loch Katrine.

During the summer of 2010 there has been new maintenance on this road to the switchback at 2700 feet. The remaining length of the road to 4000 has not be re-worked, but at some point during the summer of 2010 a tracked vechical (bulldozer/backhoe) was driven to the end of the road at 4000. This drive knocked down much of the overgrowth on the road, so it's a fairly clear path to the end of road.
(Note: Rather than starting up this ridge road from the Sunday Creek drainage, as indicated on the USGS topos, there is now a connector E-W road at the 1800 foot level that connects the Philippa Creek road to the ridge road. The connector is not marked on the USGS topos.)

The road is generally gated and locked where the Philippa Creek road turns off the North Fork of the Snoqualmie Road, so you will start hiking at that junction.

Route Description

Leave the end of the logging road, heading south along the ridge, which is graced with a climber's trail.

At the first steep section of the ridge, at about 4300 feet (47.633N, 121.6144W), there is a fixed rope that eases the progess through a cliffy section (with steep slopes off both the west and east sides of the ridge). Steep 3rd class. Remember the top of the fixed rope, it can be a bit difficult to locate on the way down.

Futher along the ridge, at about 4600 feet (47.6281N, 121.61375W), at a notch, is the only place were the easiest route diverts significantly from the ridge crest. From the small notch, drop off the east side of the ridge for a couple hundred meters before progessing back SW up a small drainage to regain the ridge beyond the blocking rock band. This diversion (at least the first part) was marked by flags and cairns.

Beyond the diversion the route is fairly straight-forward, staying very close to the crest the remainder of the way, which is somewhat long, but reasonably pleasant along a wooded ridge with occassional high altitude clearings.

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