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

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Gunn Peak and Tailgunner by Merchant Peak are two high points on Jumpoff Ridge. The former is the tallest peak in Wild Sky Wilderness. Though, it ranks #2 in the Wild Sky Range after Skykomish 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 enjoyable trip in the Pickets. It’s been on the back burners for a few years, but I was able to get to it this season. Unfortunately, though, we had a super late start at half past noon.

The crux of the climb was finding the access trail. But luckily, Redwic has a comprehensive write-up on SummitPost that I discovered recently. It even has a detailed, 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 fairly steep. Unfortunately, the pup and I had somehow lost the faint trail by the upper basin. So we nearly walked right into the massive alder swatch.

But we were able to backtrack and then made it up to the meadows below Tailgunner. There the terrain flattened quite a bit. Soon, I had my first look at 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 south side of the mountain through lots of scree. Later we found the hidden ramp and went up on the notch. Then we went around to the north side of the peak.

The narrow ledge that led up to the summit could be a crux when there is snow. Glad we didn’t have to worry about that at this time of the year. We were on dry terrain the whole way.

See more trip photos here.

Gunn Peak Summit Plus Lake View

Clouds rolled into the area just before we reached the top, so views were scarce. We hung out for a while for the mist to dissipate. Soon, I saw Gunn Lake at the bottom of the cliffs.

Sunlight would sometimes break through the clouds. In turn, it glistened the small lake. But unfortunately, I couldn’t see Gunnshy Peak through the mist.

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. Unfortunately, we had missed southern views earlier at the top. But we were able to enjoy them on the south side. Soon, we made our way back to the meadow.

Later, we made a pit stop on Tailgunner to have a decent look at Gunn Peak. We enjoyed nearby peaks like Merchant Peak, Baring Mountain, and Townsend Mountain as well.

See more trip photos here.


As we made our way down, I was curious to see where we had missed the trail earlier. But as it turned out, it was just my carelessness. There were even cairns in plain sight!

Afterward, we dropped down through the steep trail. Then we made it back to the car just after dark.

Wild Sky lineup
Wild Sky lineup

See more trip photos here.

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