Sourdough Mountain Trail

HARD 24 reviews

Sourdough Mountain Trail is a 8.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5134 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Directions from Ross Dam Parking Area: Travel west on Highway 20 to mile marker 126. Turn right and cross the Diablo Dam. Drive into the community of Diablo and park near the enclosed swimming pool. The trail begins behind the pool.

Most incredible, gorgeous trail and views I've seen yet! The alpine meadows were in full wildflower bloom and Diablo Lake was a turquoise jewel. Ross Lake and soo many peaks are viewable in 360 fashion from the peak. We came within 20-50ft of 3 bears so make noise and bring spray. I recommend taking poles for the walk back. The last 2 miles down felt awful on the knees and I would have likely had some real pain without them! Other than knee misery otw down, loved this hike, would do it many times over. Plus you can swim the next day in the pristine lakes!

hiking
5 days ago

What a ride! Steep as hell, rocky, sandy and narrow but so fullfilling when you hit the peak and have a beautifull clear view of the area! It was magical! We were lucky the smoke rained down the 2 days before the hike. Defenitely recommend this hike. Bring enough water/food supplies with you because refilling isn't really possible, maybe at 1/2 places. And I would bring hiking poles, they make it rasier for you.

hiking
16 days ago

It took me 3 hours to get to the top and to the fire lookout. The lookout has a padlock. With a filter and two 32oz water bottle you should have more than enough water. In the evening it was 88 degree but as you climb higher the temperature drops to around 69 degree. The mountain visibility isn't too great because of the fires that are coming from the north but the stars are very bright since you are above the smoke. It took me around a hour and a half to get back in the dark. Saw one bear that was pretty awesome. Also, if you plan to camp there, there is a lot of open space for tents around the lookout. I would wait a couple of days so that the smoke dies down or go during the night because the stars are so vibrant.

hiking
1 month ago

As the previous posts have stated this hike is no joke. This was the most difficult hike I've done to date. Took about 3.5 hours to reach the fire lookout. The first 2.5 hours of the hike are the hardest, and consist of steep relentless switchback that make you question your life choices.

You'll reach the sourdough camp ground at the stream, you'll need to cross the stream to pick up the trail which is denoted by a cairn. The views open shortly after this.

The views are amazing and make the hike worth doing. At the summit, Ross lake is visible and worth seeing.

Bring lots of water, I went through 2 liters and wished I had more. Bear spray is also a must, lots of fresh scat on the upper portion of the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

The hardest part is definitely the first 2.5 miles. Bring bear spray as they are grazing the meadows. Snow at the very top still but the entire trail is clear from trail head till past the second meadow.

hiking
1 month ago

Hardest hike I've ever done. That being said, you will be rewarded with some of the best views in all of the PNW at the lookout. Bring plenty of water as it is a steep incline pretty much the entire 5-6 miles up, however there is clean running water along the way. Still a lot of snow at the very top but it was relatively easy to traverse. As I said, be prepared to spend 7-8 hours of grueling work on this hike, but it's worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on July 2, 2017. At trailhead at 10:40am, took 5 hours to get to the Fire Lookout. 5.1 miles and 5,000+ ft of elevation gained. Fire lookout is closed, and I don't think it will be open anytime soon, so do not plan to sleep in it for an overnight hike. There was some snow around the river crossing near the 4,500' elevation mark . It was tough to see the trail at times, but just follow the boot marks in the snow and you'll be okay. The trail was mostly snow free after the river crossing. The only part that was a little sketchy was crossing the river. The snow was thick and hard pack, but was safe. Lots of snow at the Lookout still. This hike is no joke, very difficult with nothing but elevation gain all the way up! Saw a nice cinnamon black bear near the fire lookout. Plenty of clean water streams from the very bottom to the top all along the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing views there is a side of a mountain with 5 large waterfalls as you hike up. Also, I made it to Sourdough campground but there was a lot of snow still so I couldn't find the trail. In a couple of weeks you should be able to get to the top no problem.

hiking
2 months ago

Today it was done! Realy hard elevation in the first part of trail. About 1000 m for 2,5 hour with the water pauses. We made just a half of trail and come back. No snow. Some good views on the top.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was no joke! The entire trail is uphill with absolutely no flat areas. Very difficult but worth every bit of pain. The view from the top is great, and the feeling of accomplishment that I got when I finished was one of the best feelings I've gotten from hiking. Take extra water! ;D

backpacking
3 months ago

Only went 2.5 miles up (~1 hour in) since snow made the trail impossible to find after that point, but it was still a good (and tough) hike with my backpacking gear. A few notes here:
- At no point was the trail level...definitely not a walk in the park
- There were no real trail markers (other than at the beginning), a topographic map would have been helpful to find the trail
- Come back in August when the snow melts and you should have no problem day hiking this
- From the start of the parking lot to the lookout house is 5.2 miles according to the trailhead, so a total of 10.4 miles rather than 8.2

hiking
6 months ago

Did not make it to the top, got to about 4500ft, but still got some amazing views from there. Got mountain, lake, and wildlife. The trail is switchback for the first part and then just a straight, steady incline from there. All steep.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike!!! Definitely go do this! Amazing views all around. Garmin watch tracked us 5.2 miles up and 5.2 miles back. Took a total of 6 hours with brief water and snack stops. Lookout tower at the top.

camping
Sunday, June 26, 2016

My group Hiked the trail to the campsite, set up camp, then hiked to the look out. We stayed the night and then hiked down. The trail was Steep but well maintained. It has been Recently cleared of fallen trees and debris. We recommend trekking poles for the trip, especially for the way back down. The snow at the camp pads is cleared away, but there is still snow along the ridgeline on the way to the lookout. Campsite is along the left side of the main stream.
Camp Grid N48 44.690 W121 07.757
Four stars due difficulty vs reward gained.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We didn't make it to the top on account of rain, but we enjoyed the parts we did. Really steep, switchbacks. Great work out with beautiful mountain and lake views through the trees.