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Vesper Peak Trail is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Index, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.9 mi Elevation gain 4,186 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Bird watching

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Rocky

Scramble

Closed

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (192)
Photos (267)
Recordings (164)
Completed (339)
Darcy Ruble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 14 2020
HikingSnow

Attempted Headlee Pass July 12. Made it 3/4 way up but did not feel safe enough in snow without crampons or trax for traction. Saw one other hiker on trail. Not much mud, the 4 water crossings were easy. The road up to the trailhead has a large washout in the road. You definitely need high suspension to pass.

Kelsey Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Traction and an ice axe were needed on the way up. The three creek crossings were not a problem with the logs and rocks in place. A great day and fun one! Headlee is still packed of snow. Once at the top of it no snow until the lake.

View Kelsey's Recording
Katharina Beeler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
HikingSnow

We did this July 2- 3 in two days with our kids age 7 and 9. We used crampons, harnesses, axes and rope. Could probably do it with crampons and ax if only adults. We camped at lake Elan and reached the summit and hiked out on day two. It was overcast, foggy and drizzled at times, the snow was soft for a few inches and firm underneath, no ice. The route is not snow covered at all times, we tried to walk on snow as much as possible. Overall good conditions. See pics I uploaded for condition before Header Pass and at Lake Elan

Buzz Loring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020

What’s the snow situation at Headlee Pass?

Chris Vanek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020

great trail did last nov.

Drew Chapman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingBugsIcyRockyScrambleSnow
View Drew's Recording
Denny McDaniel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeRockyScrambleSnow
View Denny's Recording
Rod Standing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020

Did this hike today and only made it 2.5 miles in I was not prepared for that much snow. I highly recommend waiting a month, unless you are looking for a snowy adventure. The hike is truly beautiful. I can't wait to attempt again next month.

Mrad Amar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking

Watch out for bears

Derek Church
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Best hike I've done in Washington wihout a doubt.

Joey Lane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Dec 07 2019
HikingIcyOff trailScrambleSnow

A friend and I summitted Vesper Peak Dec 7th in an absolute whiteout, beware of the weather this time of year as the snow levels beyond Headlee Pass can become hazardous. The trail was in good condition until reaching the shoot up to Headlee Pass where we encountered about 6 inches of wet snow. I would recommend bringing waterproof boots as my feet were wet very soon after we hit the snow in my below-ankle hiking shoes. Beyond Headlee Pass, it was snow and more snow. Visibility was extremely poor and we soon had to put on our snowshoes after boot-holing it for a while. The snowfields require snowshoes this time of year and lots of effort to climb the steep slopes. Once you reach the final stretch the ice begins and snowshoes with hearty cleats would have been very helpful as I slid down the final slope 3 times before reaching the summit. Trekking poles were helpful and an ice ax was helpful at the very top. If hiking this in a whiteout, make sure you follow your tracks back to where you began because getting lost could be very dangerous. Also, beware of the sheer dropoff at the top of the summit. I couldn't see how far it dropped but didn't want to test any theories. Overall, the hike was a good adventure but the most difficult excursion yet. If you plan to hike this in late fall/winter, check the weather and be prepared for lots of snow, even if there is none for the first few miles of the hike.

Rhonda Duan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 14 2019
HikingRockySnow
View Rhonda's Recording
Siim Pärna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 06 2019
HikingMuddyRockySnow

One of the hardest hikes I have ever done but also the best view. Hiking boots are an absolute must. There is already snow up top so your shoes will probably get very wet. Do not attempt if you're not fit as this hike is a very steep climb the whole way. The last 0.3 miles is extremely steep and slippery.

Noi Phonexayphova
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 24 2019
HikingRocky

Amazing hike! It makes you appreciate the beauty of Washington more and more! 1. The last 1 mile on the travel road has a few potholes! I noticed a few cars with front bumpers falling off. 2. I highly recommend trekking poles for decending because the rocks at certain steep areas are VERY loose. 3. Bring plenty of water! I had a 32oz bottle and drank most of it before I reached the peak! My legs started cramping up 1 mile from the peak! 4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE CAIRNS! Cairns are rock formations created by fellow hikers/ park employees for the trail wayfinding. These cairns will keep you on the right path!!! 5. At the rock boulders before the peak, follow the cairn path on the right side to the summit. Going left will be more difficult and steeper. 6. Wear good hiking boots that will stabilize your ankles. I think if I didn't wear my hiking boots, I would have twisted/ sprained my ankles 10+ times! 7. Use the restroom at the Ranger Station. There are no outhouse/ rest areas at the trailhead. 8. Beware of falling rocks overhead. This is dependent on how many people are on the trail. Sometimes you will see a few hikers accidentally kick down a rock or so...very scary stuff if you are below! 9. Make friends! I've noticed that the nicest people are the ones motivated enough to hike mountains like Vesper Peak! I made a few and follow them on Instagram now! 10. Have fun and take your time! Enjoy y'all! Every view on this trail is amazing!!!!!

Bridget Glean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 23 2019
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

This hike should be considered extreme at best. I’m an avid hiker and in pretty good shape, and this was ROUGH. The inclines are insane, and there are very high rocks, roots, etc to climb over. One portion, before the Headlee Pass is so hard to find the trail, that I accidentally went the wrong way; it was pretty dangerous, with rocks falling, and needed very technical skill to climb. Then the last portion is what I would not describe as “scramble” but actual rock climbing. Bring poles, lots of water, and a good attitude to make it to the top. The views were EPIC and absolutely worth every grueling step. Clocked it at almost 9.5 miles, and took about 7 hours with only a 20 minute lunch and a few smaller water breaks.

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