Sourdough Mountain Trail

HARD 124 reviews

Sourdough Mountain Trail is a 9.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 9.1 miles Elevation Gain: 5,104 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

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.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Lookout is closed and a good amount of snow the last half mile.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Much of the snow mentioned in the previous review had melted off so we were over prepared with gaiters and spikes. Easily runnable on the way down provided you don’t have slippery conditions so this shaves time off the hike - can do at a 6-7 hour round trip time without being hurried. Beautiful fall colours in the forest and a dusting of snow in the alpine - ideal!

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Oct 10. Did true summit of Sourdough today, you continue up the ridge past the lookout and up and over the first bump with the cairn and summit register. The true summit is the next bump. First section of forest pretty dry, then snow starts. Nothing major. We broke trail and post-holed a bunch past lookout but didn’t warrant bringing snowshoes yet as it’s a short hike. 3.5 hours car to true summit at steady, non-rushing pace. Views of lake are beautiful. It’s not as steep as I thought it would be judging by comments. Checked out lookout on our way down, still closed

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Awesome trail! Well maintained below the major stream crossing, decently maintained above (overgrowth obscures the path in some places). The snow made it very hard to find the path as you near the stream crossing- luckily I was able to follow a previous groups tracks. Above the stream, there were no shoe tracks only a bear’s prints. Great views, long and steady grind leave me feeling satisfied~ just wish the fire lookout had been open

hiking
2 months ago

A long grind but the view is worth it. Would not recommend if you have any joint problems. Poles are a must.

hiking
2 months ago

I attempted to hike this one last weekend in the rain and wind and made it about a quarter mile from the top before I had to turn back because the side winds were brutal and there was little visibility. The hike to that point and the return was good. The first 2-3 miles was the most of the elevation gain until you get to the top, lot of switchbacks. There were also some narrow, steep ledges and a few stretches of the path that were starting to become over grown. I'd recommend some hiking poles or a stick along the way to help with balance. Once you get to the top there are several false paths where people have wandered off. You may need to do some backtracking a few times to get back on the trail if you're unfamiliar with it. There were definitely signs of bears, but I didn't come across any myself. Only got bit by one horse fly until the next morning I saw I had been bitten by chiggers. Bug spray would be useful. I'm looking forward to attempting this one again in the future during warmer/clearer weather.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was pretty repetitive, same sights almost the whole way to the top. But lord almighty the view from the top was amazing! Almost didnt look real. I’ve been hiking in the national parks for a month now and this was the hardest hike I’ve done , it was brutal.

hiking
3 months ago

Sourdough is an intense, painful, difficult hike; but for every challenge, it rewards you with a worthwhile view. In short, it was an absolute blast and worth it. Here are some notes to help out: - it took us about 7.5 hours round trip - walking sticks are a must - the first two miles are the hardest - there were 3 bear sightings, just ignore the bears and you’ll be fine - there’s a restroom at the top near the lookout, just bring your own TP Most of all, enjoy the views and the beauty of it!

hiking
3 months ago

Charming overgrown forest density leads to fields of wildflowers, and the final set of switchbacks were covered in wild berries. Not an easy hike but the views are wow. Definitely more than 10 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Feels longer than 9.1 I guess we are the only people who have ever NOT seen a bear on this trail, but we did see deer and a gopher-looking guy. Views were spectacular even though partly cloudy. If you can time it for a clear day it would be unstoppable.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Definite elevation gain. I felt it very quickly in the beginning. It was one of the toughest for me. I didn't get turned around on thr switchbacks in the beginning like others mentioned. However, the creek is where it started to get more difficult to find your path. Head straight cross the creek (which was dry on Tuesday when I went). About a half mile from there, it appears the trail takes a sharp right and heads straight up. This was the perception by following the footsteps of others and the distinct outline. Don't do it! It splits after some boulders and leads to a meadow to nowhere. Instead, as you approach this area there's a boulder. That's the trail... just go over it and keep trekking on. It's beautiful and worth it. It took me about 4.5 hours to get to the top and 3.5-4 to get down. I walked down with someone I met on the trail who also got turned around. The horse flies didn't seem like a problem but I definitely had a ton of bites the next day. The most strenuous hike I've done but worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing view of the Cascades mountains and lakes. Sometimes having the peak to yourself. The only reason it’s rated difficult is because of the constant ascending, terrain is pretty easy. Hiking poles were great help with the descend for balance and knees.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a pretty difficult hike for me for a couple of reasons a. I had not done any research and therefore only brought one water bottle and a granola bar to get me through the hike... I do not recommend that. I also highly recommend using hiking poles to help you get up the steep switchbacks, I ended up using a hiking stick I found by the path. With all that being said, this was one of the most rewarding hikes I have ever done. At the top, you can expect views of cascading mountains, wildflowers, and a clear view of the beautiful turquoise Diablo Lake. I plan on doing it again next year!

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Super pretty and we were able to find some trees at the top to hammock in and take a nap! Definitely a hike that’s super steep both ways. A bit of a horse fly problem but not so much to ruin our day!

hiking
4 months ago

super awesome views. tough at the end. our legs were dying. beautiful wildflowers. saw dear and a bear

hiking
4 months ago

It's closer to 13 miles round trip. Awesome views, and totally worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Make no mistake, this is an extremely tough hike. The beginning section is many, many steep switchbacks. There are some great exposed sections at the beginning though where you get some awesome side views. In the spirit of honesty, we did not make it to the top, however we really wanted to - we just ran into some bears...a mama black bear and cubs to be exact. This happened painfully close to the top, not sure where exactly milage wise, but we had been hiking for about 3 hours at a slow but sure rate. They were right on the path, munching on some berries. After backing away and trying to wait them out a bit, in the name of safety, we decided to turn back. I will definitely be returning though as it was a strenuous hike but intriguingly beautiful and I really want to see the views everyone croons about at the top.

hiking
4 months ago

minus couple of confusing switchbacks(the big rock which you have to cross to see the trail again on the other side, and the stream too), the trail is easy to find, the hardest trail I did was an 8 mile 3000 feet one, so this one was a bit of a challenge, but it is worth it, everyone can do it

hiking
4 months ago

The trail was pretty straightforward and relatively free from snow. There are a few places where you can get confused and go the wrong way. The first is when you get to the main creek about four miles up - you should cross the creek, not follow the gully up (though I think it will get you there since we saw a runner at the summit who said he went that way accidentally, it’ll be a scramble). The main place where confusion could happen is about a half mile after you cross the creek, and the trail kind of runs into a rock, which obscures the trail that goes just over the rock and continues. There’s another path to the left that is easy to mistake for the trail instead. When you hit this rock, just stand on it and look forward, and you’ll see the trail going forward in front of you. All in all it was a great hike with absolutely stunning views, but it got hot! We started on the trail at around 8:30am, and by the time we got back to the car around 3pm, it was in the 90s and a lot sunnier. I’d check the weather and get an early start if you’re heat sensitive.

hiking
4 months ago

Completed 7/7/19. This hike was incredibly rewarding. It is a strenuous hike up, but as you start to see the views, it’ll all be worth it. Lakes and peaks on all sides and even on a Saturday we had the trail to ourselves for the first several hours and only encountered about 5 other people the whole way up. We had the top to ourselves for about an hour as well. Later in the day, more people were on their way up (many were planning to camp). The way down was brutal on the knees. Definitely longer than 10 miles, but definitely worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was definitely longer than 9.1 miles. It was intense going up and worst going down, but all worth it. Views are amazing up top!

hiking
5 months ago

Pros:Accessible for day hikers, Good workout, Great 360 degree views, Ample shade and water available, depending on season Cons: Can be deceptively difficult, Located in often cloudy area, Potential for crowds, Some route finding needed I got lucky on a mostly sunny day to hike this trail, which is strenuous due to continual elevation gain and comparative length, but aside from residual snow in the last 500 feet or so, there are no technical sections, so a properly outfitted and fit hiker could do this trail given enough time. There are a few sources of flowing water for potential re-fill, however its still a good idea, even in this rain soaked area, to bring plenty of water, a jacket (even in summer) and some food. The first half of the trail meanders through forest and can be quite humid, while the last 1/2 to 1/3 is open Alpine Meadow with a few stands of trees to shade oneself. The views from the top are quite impressive, especially for what one can access via a day hike trail, rather than a more committed back-country expedition. There are a few instances where the trail becomes a bit hard to find, and there is a stream crossing about 1/2 way through the ascent where the trail disappears visually, and begins again on the other side of the stream. This trail earns its "Hard" rating, as there are minimal flat sections and despite being easy to access via road, is not well suited to casual visitors. If you still have energy on the way down, the views available are numerous and gratifying.

hiking
5 months ago

Backpacking July 4th-5th. It was cloudy and foggy, but the view is amazing with all the clouds. Although there was a little bit of snow at the very top, I was able to hike on it without hiking poles and spikes. The 5000 feet inclination within 4.5 miles makes the hike difficult.

hiking
6 months ago

What a difference a sunny day makes! Did it again. still snow, but packed, and not too hard to navigate (although gps is nice to have). No need for snowshoe, but microspike and axe or pole will be very handy. The view is gorgeous!!!

hiking
6 months ago

difficult to navigate with the snow still on may 24

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty difficult trail. Basically climbing 1,000 ft per mile with endless switchbacks all the way up. You spend most of your time under the trees with only a few opportunities for a good view of the surrounding mountains or Diablo Lake. After we climbed 3,000 ft, the snow drifts start. They’re probably about 10-15 ft deep. Definitely recommend doing with snow shoes or you’ll fall up to your chest in snow.

hiking
Sun Nov 11 2018

Yeah yes! I did this trail is incredible it’s very hard I feel proud of my health, on the top it was a big snow you may need snow shose, , the view is amazing, Good Luck for everyone!!!

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