Gunn Peak + Tailgunner by Merchant Peak in Wild Sky Wilderness / 槍峯

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Gunn Peak and Tailgunner by Merchant Peak are two high points on Jumpoff Ridge. The former is the tallest peak in Wild Sky Wilderness. At the same time, it ranks #2 in the Wild Sky Range after Skykomish Peak and before Gunnshy Peak.

Gunn Peak summit up ahead
Gunn Peak summit up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Gunn Peak and Tailgunner at a Glance

Access: Barclay Creek Road (NF-6024)
Round Trip: 7.5 miles
Elevation Range: 2180′-6240′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Gunn Peak via Tailgunner

The pup and I climbed Gunn Peak after my trip to the Picket Range. It’s been on the back burners for a few years, but I finally got to it this season. Sadly, with the last-minute decision, we didn’t start until half-past noon.

The crux of the climb was finding the access trail. But thanks to a comprehensive write-up by Redwic that I discovered recently. It even came with a hand-drawn map to help with locating the starting point.

See more trip photos here.

Climbing in the Lower Forest

The lower part of the climb was pretty steep. But the pup and I had somehow lost the faint trail in the upper basin. So we nearly walked right into the massive alder swath.

But glad that we backtracked sooner. Later we went up to the meadows below Tailgunner, where the terrain flattened. Then I had my first sighting of Gunn Peak high above Point 5769.

First look at Baring Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Final Stretch on Gunn Peak

We carefully made our way up the mountain’s south side through lots of scree. Then we found the hidden ramp and went up on the notch. The path took us around to the north side of the peak.

The narrow ledge that led up to the summit could be problematic in snow. Glad we didn’t have to worry about that this time of the year. It was dry terrain the whole way.

See more trip photos here.

Gunn Peak Summit Plus Lake View

Clouds rolled into the area right before we reached the top, so views were scarce. We hung out for a while, waiting for the mist to dissipate. Then I saw Gunn Lake below the cliffs. Yaaaaaas!

Sunlight would sometimes seep through the clouds and glisten the small lake. Even though Gunnshy Peak was only with arm’s reach, I never saw it through the thick mists.

Gunn Lake below Gunn Peak
Gunn Lake below Gunn Peak

See more trip photos here.

Tailgunner Summit Views

On the way down, the clouds slowly moved away. Since we had missed southern views earlier, we savored them from the south side. Soon, we were back in the meadow.

Shortly, we made a pitstop on Tailgunner to have a decent look at Gunn Peak. We also enjoyed neighboring peaks like Merchant Peak, Baring Mountain, and Townsend Mountain.

See more trip photos here.


As we went down the mountain, I was curious to see where we had missed the trail earlier. My mind must have been elsewhere because the cairns were in plain sight!

Afterward, we dropped through the steep trail and made it back to the car right after dark.

Wild Sky lineup
Wild Sky lineup

See more trip photos here.

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