Red Mountain via Old Commonwealth Trail is a 7.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, WA that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, snowshoeing, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Seattle, E on I-90 to exit 52. North off freeway, first right into PCT-North parking area. Trailhead is located at the east end of the parking lot.
The bootpath was tricky to find and it disappeared from time to time. Couple inches of snow on the top. But the 360 degree view on the peak was gorgeous.
June 12th. We took the Old Commonwealth Trail up, which is the first trail on the left. It looks like a rocky dried up stream. If you pass this trail, continuing on to the right, you can hop on to the PCT trail, which is very well maintained and much easier to navigate (we took the PCT on the way back down-well worth the extra time, beautiful waterfalls and trail). The OCT was a bit harder to navigate through. A lot of downed trees to hop or climb over, streams to cross, muddy places and some snow patches.The trail is no longer maintained, so at times difficult to find. We followed foot prints in the snow and used the gps quite a bit to stay on track. I prefer this type of trail though, its more of an adventure. Once OCT intersected with the PCT, the trail was better maintained. Then, start the switchbacks and the rocky trail. There are a few beautiful viewpoints of the valley below, but the actual scramble and even better view was yet to come. Upon reaching the area before going to scramble up toward the summit of Red Mountain, there was more snow to cross before the rocky area started. We followed the tree line to the right and began our scramble up to the summit. The rocky trail was at first easy to find and follow, then it became very difficult about a quarter of the way up, as well as, very steep. We eventually just made our own trail as we scrambled up, trying to find the safest route. There are a bunch of loose rocks, so be careful with those below you, you pretty much have to stagger going up and most definitely, going down! A group of 4 coming down after us, accidentally knocked a large rock which then split into two pieces causing a bit of an avalanche down the mountain. They were just hoping my friend and I were already off the mountain, which we were, thankfully. There was no one else except my friend and I and the group of 4 who climbed up to the summit that day. We saw three couples on the lower trail making their way back and a couple other people going up but not climbing the summit. This was definitely a lightly trafficked hike. The 360 view at the top was gorgeous and well worth the climb. Just a caution if you're going to the summit...take your time, don't rush it, take time to rest or go slow if you're tired cause you don't want to get sloppy scrambling up those rocks. Also, going down, make sure you stagger cause those loose rocks can really hurt. I almost got hit a few times, but got lucky cause we were staggered. One of the guys from the other group did get hit, but luckily it was just his leg and it didn't look too bad. The scramble was about a class 2 and at times, a class 3, as you're having to hold on to rocks with your hands so you can move your feet. A helmet would be advisable and very careful navigation as the loose rocks can get pretty slippery.
Beautiful views of Guye Peak and Red mountain. Went to the base of Red Mt. Snow shoed the whole way
Last weekend, still lots of snow and not too mushy. It was beautiful, well traveled but not crowded.
Beautiful! Perfect amount of snow! A lot of up hill!!
I hiked this trail with a group of friends yesterday, I think we arrived ~10 am, there weren't many cars in the parking lot.
The trail was overall in a good condition, the scenery varies along the trail.
We saw people with their dogs, so you can bring your four-legged friend along if you want :)
We initially set out to get to Red Mountain, near the last 0.5 mile there was some sort of a pond, the trail then goes up where it gets a bit rocky, then it goes to the left, according to other reports and hikers you need to scramble to reach Red Mountain, anyways, after that pond it gets a bit rocky and we weren't sure if this is the scramble part that everyone was talking about, so we crossed the rocky part horizontally, which was barely 200 ft, then it became a regular hiking trail, that ended at a different summit, it wasn't red mountain but it was gorgeous, the view from there is just stunning.
And on the way down, while we were sitting down to rest, another hiker was going down, he stopped to say hi and chatted with us for a few minutes. He was super friendly, and it turned out he was Norwegian & his name was Ruben. He's been hiking for three weeks. He started in Canada and planning to hike the entire PCT all the way to Mexico. Quite impressive!! Best of luck to him!
Last part of trail beginning from Commonwealth Basin is very steep, rocky and begins not clear closer to the top; it's very easy to loose the trail. Some parts require a kind of climbing. The weather was foggy, so we were not so lucky to see the view from top.
Hike this section of the PCT and Snoqualmie Pass area during the dry season and had a blast. The trailhead starts at the PCT section and after 2.5 miles we stayed on the CommonWealth Basin trail to Red Mountain. Steady climb until the ~4 mile mark were constant switchbacks make the hike steeper and we finished our hike at Red Pond. Didn't want to climb the last 1000 ft to Red Mountain pass, had a good lunch at Red Pond and came back down for a fun day.
Our first snowshoeing adventure! We enjoyed the trail for its varied scenery, especially the frozen waterfalls. It started snowing partway through our ascent and continued for the rest of our time on the mountain. We didn't make it all the way into the basin (we were hungrier than our trail snacks could tackle and our stove decided not to work). I can't wait to return and explore further into the basin or maybe up the PCT more towards Kendall Katwalk. Be careful for ice on the trail in the winter months! It hides so well under the snow.
Lots of snow, pretty crusty for the first six inches or so. Got going fairly early and managed to get an igloo put together on the north side of Commonwealth Creek. Two of our group skinned up on skis and made it fine.
Great views of Guye, Red Mountain, and Kendall!
Snow is on the ground, time to snowshoe. My 1st trip snowshoeing, up the basin then up to the saddle of cave ridge. Good time and impossible to get lost in the basin. Great place to wander.