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Home Go Hiking Trip Reports West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek, Goodell Creek

Trip Report By

Hiked Sep 6, 2021

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail difficult/impossible to navigate:
    Trees down across trail,
    Difficult stream crossing(s),
    Overgrown in places,
    Mud/Rock slide or washout.


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Intermittent snow - not hard to cross

For starters this trip is probably best done in 2-3 days, but we were limited on time and did the entire 20+ miles and 9000+ feet of elevation gain in a looong day.

This peak is definitely not for the faint of heart & is more than a casual day hike.

The first couple of miles is mostly decent trail and plenty of overgrown brush. After about 4 miles you turn right and go straight up hill. This part feels brutal at times, with plenty of root climbing and steep terrain. Basically it’s mailbox on steroids for 5,000 feet. 

Eventually you break out in open terrain, and the views are gorgeous. Sadly it was cloudy when we started at night and had no view in the morning. We briefly debated turning around but knew the weather would improve!! 

As you traverse over towards terror basin you have to descend a fairly nasty and steep notch. You really need to be careful of rock fall here. 

The approach to McMillan Spire itself crosses a few snowfields with amazing views of Inspiration Glacier. Lower down you cross some beautifully glacier polished rocks that are fun to scramble. The final notch to access the west ridge is melted out with plenty of nasty rock. We brought microspikes, but never used them. The scrambling to the summit is mostly Class 3, if you go too far left there is quite a bit of exposure, but if you move too far right you might end up on class 4/5 terrain. Views from the summit are crazy good.

Rockfall is a serious concern we dealt with and would recommend a helmet. The hike out was very long and tedious.  In retrospect I think this trip would be more enjoyable in early summer with better snow coverage. 

This is a trip I will never forget. The approach is downright brutal and I can see why the Picket Range have a reputation!! 


ngie on West McMillan Spire via Goodell Creek, Goodell Creek

Damn. I thought my Stuart C2C Sunday was nuts. Well done!

Posted by:

ngie on Sep 07, 2021 10:55 PM


Thanks!!! Nice job. Almost did that. Did you do west ridge?

Posted by:

Touray Kungkagam on Sep 08, 2021 11:41 AM