Clinton Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2019-07-01, By: Tim A
Info: Road to Wheeler lake has numerous ponds, streams and snowfields to be negotiated. Carry your kayak up to save time coming down. The ponds lower on the road have obvious bypasses through the willows, usually on the uphill side (climbers right). Higher up, it's willow bashing or toe dipping to get past them. Snowfields on road were punchy but trench held. Snow slope to gain the bowl below the Clinton group was completely saturated at 6am, perhaps from the rainy afternoon and evening yesterday. Snow consistency was like a wet sponge, what you would expect to find mid-afternoon. Postholed up the slope and a bit further into the basin towards Clinton's SE couloir before deciding to call it a day. I'm not sure if snowshoes would help that much given how wet the snow was. Planning on going back later this week with a cooler overnight low and hopefully a clear night sky. The Clinton couloir is still in as is a moderate snow slope to climber's right of it. Democrat north face still has the two steep couloirs in to the ridge. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2019-04-28, By: nathansmithpiano
Info: Snow the entire time, only needed boots until 9AM then put on spikes. Things started softening, by 1PM I was post-holing like crazy even in my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes. Surprisingly not cold all day even with high winds. Highly recommend starting early before things thaw 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2018-09-07, By: WildWanderer
Info: Most of the peaks in the area got a light dusting of snow last night, but Clinton/McNamee/Traver did not. They are pretty much snow free except for tiny areas on the ridges which are easily avoidable. The skies were clear today so it doesn't look like the conditions will change for the weekend. There was heavy frost on the rocks above 13,000' making early morning scrambling slippery. Stick to the east side of the ridges to avoid the worst of it. Oh, and the leaves are changing in Alma. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2018-06-25, By: koeffling
Info: The road is clear to Wheeler Lake, although pretty wet and large portions under water- there are bypasses through the willows in all of these areas. There's still some snow to content with above Wheeler Lake. You could probably avoid it if you go around. We did not bring snow gear and the snow was soft enough to kick steps (would have been nice to have an axe for a glissade down). In the basin and above, mostly clear of snow or easily avoidable. The traverse to the other two peaks also clear (as well as the descent off Traver). 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2018-06-04, By: wildlobo71
Info: A month later and a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. The gate is open, and signs of 4WD life were around. I parked right below the mine. The entire basin is draining like bad, be prepared for willow-stomping patience as you deviate from the route to avoid newly formed swimming pools. The lower basin is otherwise snow free - snow was not an issue until the Wheeler Lake area, the headwall up into the upper basin is still snowbound, will be for another couple of weeks. Snow is firm morning and afternoon for good steps - we used spikes only, and glissaded down in the afternoon. The upper basin below the peaks is 50% snow - it can be mostly avoided but crossing fields is going to occur. All peaks are clear of snow. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2018-04-30, By: wildlobo71
Info: Parked at the gate on north side of Montgomery TH, 1/4 mile from Magnolia Mill. Departed around 7:30am. Road trail into basin was wet already without a hard freeze the previous night. Gaining Wheeler Lake basin was sloppy at 8:45am, postholing. Gaining upper basin was also tough - due to an avy slide on the S aspects of point west of Wheeler Lake, rerouted the approach to the south wall and proceeded to pursue Traver Peak first. This is not a trip report, I have plenty to say there, but after coming down off of McNamee and heading back into the basin, all soft land was posthole depth from ankles to hips even with snowshoes. Coming off the upper basin to Wheeler Lake was harrowing, another story for the trip report, but needless to say it's also soft, posthole central, and also free-draining flow on the ground surfaces beneath the snow. By noon - everything was soupy back to the Mine. Hoping with continued temps this moisture that we need will drain away and make for more pleasant future experiences. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2018-04-23, By: drop_bear
Info: Consistent soft snow from the trailhead to the upper basin. Postholed at least a few inches with snowshoes for most of the trip. Several smaller slides of the new snow along south facing aspects. The ridge from Traver to Clinton was overall pretty clear, and wasn't a problem. We went up the east ridge of Traver first and down Clinton. The snow on the south face of Clinton was very soft and steep, would have been a pain going up. Lower elevations were melting out and were a mess by the time we made it back. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2018-03-30, By: WildWanderer
Info: Hard packed snow from end of 2WD TH to the mine, snowshoes required after that. There's a lot of snow in the basin, completely covering the 4WD trail, which for me meant a lot of GPS'n and Guessin' to stay on route. Wheeler Lake is completely iced over and covered with a foot or more of snow. 
Route: NW Ridge
Posted On: 2018-03-08, By: JoseDeMoor
Info: Sunny, calm day on Clinton. Opted for snowshoes instead of skis for this route, some trail breaking, overall snow was consolidated. The ridge had some easily avoidable cornices, was a mixture of rock and snow from the saddle to the summit. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2017-08-01, By: Trotter
Info: Still very wet on a lot of sections. The road/trail has large puddles that either require willow bashing, or some very tedious tip-toeing across rocks. See pictures. Also the waterfall section on the west side of Wheeler lake has swamped out the grass beneath it. It looks dry but is not, about ankle deep water. Bring waterproof boots, or lots of extra socks. Also prepare for this route taking more time. Rest of route is fine, there is some snow on the south slopes but it is easily avoided. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2017-07-21, By: abe1982
Info: I hiked Clinton last weekend and the conditions on the lower trail are pretty similar to the 6/24 report. Lots of standing water and small streams on the road from the TH up to Wheeler Lake. Most of it can be avoided except for the large scale stream below Wheeler Lake. Last weekend, it was flowing pretty well but only shin high so nothing difficult. From Wheeler Lake to the summit, it's quite soggy too. A couple of small snowfields remain on the headwall but equipment is not necessary. Bring extra socks! 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2017-06-25, By: Grover
Info: The road to Wheeler Lake is very wet with lots of running water on/over it. You can avoid the big puddles by walking through the bushes on the side of the road. There are a couple spots where you will need look for the best way to cross some large scale streams that are flowing over the road. I used ice axe and crampons to get up the head wall at Wheeler Lake. After that, you can hike without traction into the basin by avoiding any patches of snow, or, walk over the short snow patches. Snow is still covering the the South Slopes of Clinton, so at the tarn at the base of the slope, I used crampons and ice axe again to make quick work of the snow that leads directly to the summit/ridge. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2016-11-20, By: brerrabbit
Info: Light snow beginning near the switchback portion of the road. Trail gaining the Traver/Clinton/McNamee basin is a bit deeper, likely in the 8-15" range with some postholing if stepping in certain areas. Gained the ridge via a south-facing couloir with minimal snow. Ridge has some snow but was completely manageable without microspikes. Did not use microspikes the whole day. Lots of talus intermixed with trap door snow which makes for a tedious climb, generally present above 12,500'. PM for pictures. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2016-10-22, By: madadraw1
Info: Snow starting to stick. Found snow mostly above 12.5K feet once left Wheeler Lake and the trail behind. Often found ways around it but often easier to just walk through it. No issues without traction and did not need gaiters. With a 6AM start, the snow was soft and not icy at all by the time we hit it. Maybe 30-40% thin snow coverage above Wheeler Lake. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2016-09-05, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Summer conditions overall, no snow on the entire route. 4X4 road is it's normal wet in places. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2016-08-15, By: flyingmagpie
Info: The stream midway up the road is still running full (as in the June report). Had to detour uphill following a path in the willows to find dry rock to put my feet onto. Leap was barely doable, but I made it. Wheeler Lake road and the road below still running water in many places. No snow on the route. Some snowfields up near the top of Clinton easily avoidable. Roach calls the climb "the easiest" in his 13er book, but that is because the road could be driven with a stock 4wd back then. Only highly modified 4wd rock climbers can drive the road now. Approach is long. Walking any 4wd road is tedious and hot (think: Lake Como road). Time above treeline in the sun is long. But this is overall a rewarding climb through spectacular cirques. I had the whole mountain to myself all day, though there were other hikers down by the lake, and a few 4x4 enthusiasts driving their rigs on the road as I headed out. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2016-06-26, By: skypilot
Info: The road to Wheeler Lake is very wet, although from past trip reports it appears that this is not that unusual. There are well established walk-arounds for the numerous places where the water is too deep to walk through, but I was still glad I had good water-proof boots. It does get more difficult to keep your feet dry as you near the steeper ascent to Wheeler Lake - I elected to bushwhack up the slope rather than attempt to navigate the raging stream coming down the road. There is a cairned route up to the lake that leaves the road just east of a major stream intersection (I found this on the way down). Once up at Wheeler Lake, you'll need to navigate up a steep slow-covered slope to get into the upper basin between Traver and Clinton. I used snowshoes on the way up and microspikes on the way down (but microspikes would have worked both ways without too much post holing). Walking sticks helped too. The upper basin is melting out fast but there's still enough snow to make navigation difficult. Since I had snowshoes, I used them, but if you stick to the east side of the basin and head toward Traver ridge you can avoid most of it. The south slopes route to Clinton still has a fair amount of snow -- I opted instead to climb Traver Peak first and then circle around to Clinton Peak along the ridge, bagging McNamee in the process. Then I reversed course for the return, circling back to McNamee before dropping down into the basin, angling for the lower parts of Traver ridge to avoid snow. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2015-11-23, By: Unknown
Info: Patchy snow on the first mile of the approach, from there snowshoes are a must till you reach the upper basin at about 13k. There's one questionable slope from Wheeler lake up to the upper basin, choose your line wisely. The trench we put it *may* be ok, but use your own judgement. I also should note that we heard two small avalanches on the back side of North Star Mountain. 
Route: Combo Clinton/McNamee/Traver
Posted On: 2015-09-27, By: BagginPeaks
Info: Did the combo Traver - McNamee - Clinton from Montgomery Reservoir. There is an old jeep road/trail that skirts the SW side of Wheeler Lake after the parking area. Soon you will see the gully/talus slope to take into the high basin. The terrain from here on is off-trail, talus, and tundra. The upper basin could be confusing to some, study your map and use your routefinding skills to find a line up, paralleling the stream. Stay on the rocks as much as possible and not the fragile wetlands. When convenient, pick a line and gain Traver‘s East ridge. The talus gets tedious. Traverse to Mcnamee and then Clinton is straightforward, took me less than an hour with no time spent on Mcnamee other than to take a picture of the Climax glory hole. Once one Clinton, continue over the summit and down the ridge maybe 50 feet before starting a scree-filled descent of Clinton‘s South Slope. Retrace your steps back through the basin and back down to Wheeler Lake (hopefully you made mental images of what it looked like behind you as you were ascending). 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2015-06-29, By: Kitten
Info: We parked at the 2WD trailhead. The 4WD is passable to about 1.2 miles before the lake. Many vehicles had made it to the first patch of snow, after that we didnĀ“t see any vehicle making it, may tried but none succeeded. Peak still holds quite a bit of snow. Required gear: microspikes, ice axe and gaiters. The gulley ascending to the basin has snow and so does the upper slope. Glissading down was fun! I plan to put up some pictures once I get them onto the computer. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.