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Observation Peak Trail is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stevenson, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and horses and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.2 mi Elevation gain 1,404 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Walking

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Mount Adams Ranger District 2455 Highway 141 Trout Lake, WA 98650 Tel: 509.395.3400

From Vancouver, east 55 miles on Highway 14 to the town of Carson. Turn north on Wind River Road and go 10 miles to Forest Service Road 3065. Turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the signed trailhead at Government Mineral Springs.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (73)
Photos (79)
Recordings (49)
Completed (112)
Sheila Murty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

Really tough for us to find where to pick up this trail. We ended up at Trapper Wilderness trail head and went about it that way. The directions above could be better in order to find the right trail head.

Mandy Fleeger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingBugs

First thing’s first - bring bug spray if you plan to stop and picnic at one of the view points. We don’t often think about biting bugs in the PNW, (as compared to mosquito land in the Midwest) so we failed to pack bug spray and got ravaged by gnats of some sort. Luckily I was wearing pants and a sweater because it was a typically chilly late-June summer day in the PNW but my face and hands got completely ravaged. I had welts all across my forehead and temples and hands and wrists. Two days later and I’m still itching just thinking about it. My husband on the other hand, came out unscathed - perhaps less reactive than my skin. It made for an unpleasant picnic stop but with a lovely view. A 4-star hike without the added situation of becoming a veritable feast. Otherwise it was a pretty good outing with moderate elevation gain to get the blood pumping. Lots of big beautiful trees. The trail itself is mostly packed dirt/pine needles - not a lot of rocks in trail to make the terrain more interesting, but a couple very mild sections. The views are great even with an overcast covering the volcano peaks. The forest floor here is bunch grass rather than ferns which was an interesting change-up. Lots of little forest flowers lined the trail and colorful wildflowers at the lookouts.

Jake Reichardt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

This would be a 5-star trail on a clear day, but unfortunately it was mostly cloudy today. Even without the mountain views, it's a well-maintained trail with nice trees and enough ups and downs to keep it interesting. We also took the side trail to Sister Rock which is a very pretty promontory and had lovely wildflowers. Definitely adding this to the "sunny days" list for a return trip. Recommend a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead due to deep potholes the last few miles.

View Jake's Recording
Katie Barlow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020

great trail! There were a few paths that would take you off to a different trail so keep that in mind when you come to an intersection. I just opened my app and was able to find the route. Its up and down so a decent workout but the view at the top is amazing! i saw quite a bit of people for friday afternoon and the rating of "light" traffic. I would say its more "moderate" traffic. There were a couple of people off leashed but they were respectful and able to control their dogs as i walked past with my two. Overall great hike! Could view 5 mountains at the top! Wish I could've stayed longer but the doggos were too hot. (not a lot of shade) The campground looks like a cool spot to check out on a weekday. i bet observstion peak is a wonderful sunset/sunrise hike!

anthony l.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
ClosedSnow

Road from Carson is impassable due to snow, about 20 miles from Carson.

Bridget Templeton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 08 2020
Hiking

This was my 2nd attempt at reaching the top of Observation Peak... definitely need to start this trail early to ensure enough daylight hours to reach the views not much view along the way, deep within nature therefore allowing time to really soak it in... the forest floor shared its beauty as you can see from the pics I took. I loved this hike and cannot wait for my 3rd attempt.

Carli Wright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Nov 23 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail that is heavily wooded and secluded. I didn’t see anyone all day until i headed back and ran in to another hiker and their dog. I sketchily made it up the road from carson in my Prius. I’m grateful i read the review and took the easy route. I will totally do this again. I would rate it on the easier side of moderate. If you’re up for a side hike Sister rock is off to the right when you see the first boulder lookout. It was only another 0.6 to the rock. Amazing views all around. I stayed at the top for like 45 minutes enjoying the sun.

Meghan Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Nov 12 2019
Hiking

We lucked out on weather, great view of 5 mountains. Seemed longer than 5 miles but worth it. Coming from Carson, you can only see the back of the sign for trail head. We earned our beers at the conveniently located Backwoods Brewery.

Samantha Powell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 03 2019
Hiking

Great trail, the view at the top was epic! Can view 5 mountains in one hike. So great!

Sherilyn Foltz-Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 27 2019
Hiking

Cloudy day- no view. Still great hike!

View Sherilyn's Recording
Dan Bentson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 20 2019
Hiking

Getting there: Do you like adventure? Do you have a high clearance vehicle? If so, coming in from Chelatchie Prairie is awesome. Do you like reasonably safe roads? Do you like easy? Then I would definitely come in by way of Carson.

Desi Saylors
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 25 2019
HikingSnow

5/4/19: made it about 3/4 of the way before there was too much snow to keep the trail. The trail up to that point was great! Shaded, well maintained, no one else in sight. We headed back to take a primitive connector trail down to Trapper Creek...that was tough! True bush-wacking! The primitive trails are followable... with very keen eyes. Downhill for 4+ miles was HARD! Made to the Trapper Creek trail and found a great campsite on the creek. The rest of the hike was great! Early enough that there weren't any bugs or people.

Geri N.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 03 2019

based on all of the fabulous reviews we thought we would give it a go to do the upper observation peak loop. But the road condition are far, far worse then stated. We went up thru NF58. There are many, many potholes, narrow roads, branches popping out in all directions and a near vertical drop occasionally on one or more sides of the road in many places. this went on for the last 7 miles. We were in a jeep but non the less we got a blow out near the top of the road. it took nearly an hour to change the tire right there on the road. We never made it to the hike unfortunately. But did get a few great shots of the .mountains on the way up.

Cassandra Samonte
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue May 07 2019
HikingSnow

There is about 2 feet of snow on the ground about 1 mile out from the trail head. Our v8 ram rebel couldn’t get through it. Almost tumbled off the cliff trying to turn around in the snow. I’d give it another 3-4 weeks before going on this hike.

Kelsey Weingart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 01 2018

Beautiful Fall colors going on right now! We only saw one other group today. It was not only beautiful, but very quiet. We will definitely be back.

E. E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 01 2018
Hiking

There is still a few wildflowers blooming. The view from the peak was not that good because of the smoke from the wildfires, but still a fantastic hike.

Olivia Nicole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 20 2018
Hiking

The trail was in great shape and there's an awesome vantage point right before the Sister Rocks Trail intersection. There are three other outcroppings where you can get absolutely stunning views before arriving to the top of Observation Peak. There are bugs but be sure to bring bug spray and they won't be a problem. I will note that according to Google there are three routes to get to the trailhead. We took SR503 through Yacolt/Amboy to get out there but I would NOT recommend this route unless you have a high clearance vehicle and dont mind branches potentially scratching your vehicle. On the way out we took the forest road and followed it leading to Dry Creek Rd, Meadow Creek Rd, and eventually to Wind River Rd and took that down south to Carson. The flowers are still in bloom but it would be even better to go in late spring/early summer when they are all in full bloom!

Natalie Bowers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 16 2018
Hiking

Did this morning 7/15/18. It was super hot outside but this trail is almost all shaded it was felt great. Did get super busy by around 11am and BEWARE of all the potholes! No idea how none of the reviews I read didn’t mention this. Drove in my sedan and ate crap on a couple so I parked a mile away and walked the rest. And we had bees circling us as we were walking towards the start of the trail and a few on the hike that followed us for awhile so be careful if you are allergic. Getting to the falls was easy though. Took us 35 minutes.

Barbi Warren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 07 2018
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Well maintained trail, there is still snow covering the last .5 mile of the trail. Definitely one I want to do again and see the other trails in that area!

Claire Keturi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 26 2017
Hiking

Great hike! Mostly uphill with a few spots of level ground to catch your breath. There are several spots along the trail that you can veer off and take in the view. Mostly covered but the summit is open. Was able to see all 5 peaks on a clear July day. Take bug spray in the summer.

Eric Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 25 2016
Hiking

Hiked this trail a few years ago. For pictures and my full review, please visit The Washington Trails Association website (WTA.org). All I can say is make your way to the top for an absolutely stunning view of 5 mountain peaks of the Cascade Range.... You will not be disappointed.

Scott Finnie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 23 2015
Hiking

This hike may be a long and winding loop but it is capped off with an excellent view of Saint Helens, Adams, and Hood, on the clear day I hiked both Rainier and Jefferson were visible. By my GPS the total loop was 13.6 miles with elevation gain of 3,050 feet to a height of 4,210 feet. Starting at Trapper Creek trailhead of Mineral Springs Road my route was anti-clockwise up trail 132 via Howe ridge where after approx. five miles you approach the final accent of just under mile (trail 132A). On descending back down 132A I continued on 132 to the junction of 158 and Trapper Creek trail 192 close to Sisters Rocks. From there it was back down the approx. eight miles to the trailhead. One thing I would do the next time is to take a cutoff approx. four miles down the trail and about a mile from the junction with trail 198. It will shave about a mile of the loop, either way you approach this apart of the trail you will be faced with an elevation gain of approx. 400 feet before heading down to the trail head. The hike gave this seventy one year young a great work out and provided the solitude to reflect on the wonderful nature of this area apart from the rewarding view.

michael anfang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 27 2015
Camping

Did an overnight trip. From Trapper Creek Trailhead, took trail #192 about a mile to Observation Trail #132. Uphill the whole way, so be prepared! Beautiful clear day with views of Helens, Adams, and Hood. Camped at the area at the intersection of #132 and #158 - if you are looking for water, there's some a few hundred feet down #158. Don't be like me and detour an extra 2 mile round trip down #192 to get water! Went back to the trailhead via #158 to #194 - downhill a few miles on #158, and mostly flat on #194 with plenty of water access.

Keri Sprenger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 13 2013
Hiking

This is an amazing trail with great scenery and solitude. We did the shorter version to the top of Observation Peak, via the entrance off FR 58. It encompassed Sister Rocks as well and was about 7 miles in length. When you park at the trailhrad, it is 1.1 miles to the wilderness boundary and another .1 of a mile brings you to Sister Rocks. Turn right onto the trail for about .6 of a mile. After visiting the rocks, retrace your steps and continue down the Observation Peak trail. Climb up and enjoy the views. When you retrace your steps, look for an unmarked trail to the right about .3 of a mile from the summit of Observation Peak. This trail heads out on a ridgeline and offers some incredible views of the Trapper Creek Valley. All total, this trail gains about 1,500 feet of elevation and loses a few hundred feet. If you have a hike to choose from in Trapper Creek, do this one. It's worth the extra driving to this trailhead.

Jason Moreau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 02 2012
Hiking

We came down this trail from the intersection of Trapper Creek Trail 192 after camping on the Trapper Creek Trail in the rain the night before. I was a pleasant meandering decent (not too steep). There is not much in the way of views, however, there are some enormous old growth trees to be seen. Overall, it was an ok hike.

Rachel Bieber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking
View Rachel's Recording
Kelton Gregory
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking
View Kelton's Recording
Elspeth Durek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking
View Elspeth's Recording
Sandy W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking
View Sandy's Recording
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