Kendall Katwalk Trail

HARD 122 reviews

Kendall Katwalk Trail is a 14.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3858 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Hike along the Pacific crest trail from I-90 to reach the Kendall katwalk, a rock path blasted out of the cliff face.

backpacking
4 hours ago

hiking
5 hours ago

hiking
22 hours ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

11 days ago

trail running
12 days ago

This trail is fantastic and very good for trail running. It gets a bit rocky at times, but the views are fantastic. The length makes the elevation gain really gradual, so it's not a very difficult trek. I recommend going on a weekday, if you want to avoid the big crowds of people. I went on a Wednesday (August 2nd) and I felt like I had the trail all to myself. I love this trail and will definitely come back and do it again!

hiking
14 days ago

16 days ago

As only one very small part of the Pacific Crest trail, Kendall Katwalk trail is an astounding, beautiful, and breathtaking journey across just about every natural "feature" one could want in a trail excursion. And while the destination (the "Katwalk") is spectacular, the journey to it is rife with astounding views. Today's visit (7/29/17) was nearly incomparable, my only caveat being that I'd wished to not suffer so much the day after, my feet, knees and lower back all complaining. But worth the price? Yes - FAR worth it.

Arriving at the trail at 8:45, the parking lot was full; get there early, and have a Northwest forest pass, or pay a fee. Fortunately, an adjacent lot just north provided a single spot that I was able to squeeze into. It's a short walk to the trailhead, equipped as most better ones are, with restrooms and an information board. The Forest Service does an incredible job of maintenance on these trails!!

Having traversed the trail, it's easy to "dissect" it into three distinctive sections, across a distance of just over seven miles (one-way), ascending 3,833 feet. The first 3.5 miles are most pleasant, drawing the hiker through thick forest canopy, mostly sheltered from the sun, on a nice gradual climb. This took me two hours. At 3.6 miles, the trail "splits", and can be deceiving; as you exit the woods and come out into the open, you can climb some rocks in front of you, and continue on, or go to the right, which remains a nice dirt path. GO RIGHT - which is the correct path to the Katwalk.

Shortly after the split, you again enter the woods into what I refer to as the "second section", also covered in canopy. Here, you will encounter steeper, smooth switchbacks that curve their way through the forest. The trail itself is relatively smooth, though there are several outcroppings of roots and rocks along the way. The most interesting part of this area is being able to look up at the trail and see people well above you on the switchbacks, knowing that you have to make it up there, too! After two miles of uphill climb, you break out into the open, onto a massive rock bed.

On this particular day, with bright sun in the sky, I saw some people up ahead looking towards the hill. There, perched atop a rock about twenty feet above, was a large marmot, casually watching the hikers below. It was my first "encounter" of one of these animals, just another discovery in a series of adventures. More importantly, I was in the third and final section, having only about 1.5 miles to go.

But here, the real magic begins. Turning to look towards the southeast, the horizon was graced with the massive beauty of a snow-covered Mount Rainier! What a lovely surprise, and an incredible backdrop for photographs. It was both an unexpected and wonderful delight, obviously a highlight of the trail, as many folks were stopped in this area, looking beyond.

With interstate 90 appearing as a narrow ribbon in the valley below, the height of the climb became obvious! After a short break, and a snack, I trudged forward, as the path led around open curves, and beautiful vistas of the valley and ridges that surrounded the path. Wildflowers abounded, in all shades.

There is a point where the path no longer parallels the valley, but turns and takes you to the other side of the mountain, onto new ridges and overlooks. There are a number of places to stop and take photos, with sharp, stony ridges and even remnants of snow, lingering here late in July. It seemed like I would never reach the Katwalk, though I was told by several hikers that I was "getting close".

A few more twists, turns, a flattening of the trail, some shaded spots, and there it was! The Katwalk, so named because of the sheer drop on one side, and a cut rock face to the other, is a short (40-50 feet) expanse. Fear not, however; it's about eight to nine feet wide, which exits onto more pathway that leads you farther into the wilderness, and as I'm told, to some alpine lakes beyond.

But here my journey ended, a four hour trek, as I stopped to rest and have lunch. As I sat and pulled out my sandwich, birds took a sudden interest; these are the infamous "Grey Jays", or more appropriate "camp robbers", known for their tendency to readily walk off with edible items whenever they surround a camp site.

As I sat and ate, I pulled bits of bread from my sandwich, and tossed them away, with the birds swooping down on them. I then held a piece in my fingers to see what would happen; one of the birds immediately flew onto my hand, grabbed the food, sat for a few seconds, and then flew away. What a great experience!!

The trek back in the warmer mid afternoon sun took two hours and fifty minutes, with the total trek adding up to nearly 7.5 hours. Of all the trails I've encountered to date, the majority having waterfall or lake destinations, this one was the longest (14.5 miles round trip), offered the best changes in terrain, and had the most outstanding vista views by

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

This hike provides you with series of breathtaking panoramic views both on the way and on the katwalk. The ascent is pleasantly punctuated with varied terrain, and sections of just enough flat sections for it not to get too strenuous to enjoy the wonderful panorama.

hiking
26 days ago

Great trail. Nice gradual switchbacks. The views of Rainier and the other peaks were great. There were several areas with snow drifts over the trail in the high alpine but they were easily manageable going slow and following the path people had already carved out. Good hiking boots are a must as there are several areas of large rock gardens on the trail.

hiking
26 days ago

27 days ago

Finished by dipping into ridge lake. It was great that elevation gain was mild all the time,there is no hike up and patches of no elevation like in some other trails. View is stunning and we saw a pika!

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
29 days ago