Mt. 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.
Start 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).
From the saddle, you can see the pyramid shaped Mt. McGuire to the north. Leave the trail here and head up the south ridge of Mt. McGuire. It is a class 2 climb on one mile of open terrain to the summit. The terrain starts on solid rock but becomes looser nearer the peak.
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