Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail

MODERATE 336 reviews

Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Issaquah, Washington that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,210 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

This hike is similar to other Cougar Mountain hikes, semi-steep start with gentle trails once you reach the top of the park. Winter is a great time to do this hike, since the views are better and spots of snow and ice make for an interesting hike. There is still plenty of "green" on this hike, thanks to moss, ferns and evergreen trees. It also seems like more wildlife is out and about -- maybe they are just more visible since there was less tree cover to hide within. This is the highest point within the Cougar Mountain Park. To get here you can take either the Wilderness Creek Trail or the Wilderness Cliffs Trail. The hike up to this point can be a challenge where you will encounter a steep climb and at times, rocky terrain. The final stretch to the peak is a gentle short climb where you can rest and relax. On your way up towards the peak you will be surrounded by giant ferns. The trail is shady, provided by the large Douglas fir trees over head. After your short hike down this trail you will come to a small clearing and a large wooden bench. The peak on this mountain does not afford you a view as the top is covered in a dense forest. Take a seat on the giant wooden chair and relax, reflect on your accomplishment of making it to the peak. Before heading back down the mountain take a minute to sign the log book located across from the wooden chair, showing that you made it to the top.

I started off wanting to hike Margarets’s Way to Debbie’s view. Ended up doing FAR more the expected this Whitaker’s Wilderness popped up as the tail I completed. Regardless, this is a beautiful area. Not many views but the trail is lovely, not a lot of rocks, some roots. There are several level areas, but enough elevation to get the heart rate up. Today, there were very few people out which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed this trail so much.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, but nothing to really see. Would do it again, but would rather go somewhere else

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

We did this trail at noon on Labor Day so it was fairly busy. No wildlife sightings besides a couple of squirrels but the hike is very beautiful! The pictures just do not do it justice. We chose to hike the Shy Bear Pass which was very serene and rustic. Definitely do this trail if you love lush forests with lots of green and quiet!

Slightly difficult hike through a lush forest. There is no obvious destination to this hike as you’re in the forest the whole way up, but if you appreciate good mossy Northwest forest like me you’ll be happy you did this hike. Can’t wait to do this one again in the rainy season.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

nice and fairly easy. Saw momma and two Cubs five minutes up the trail. The peak doesn't offer a view but does have a nice bench.

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout, pretty steady incline,clean, quiet. I know parking can be an issue at some of these trailheads-Small lot off the 900 fills up quick, but there is plenty of roadside parking.

Wonderful Sunday hike with the fam!

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate trail to the left. More challenging route to the right. We did the left trail going up which provided challenges going up and intermittent level areas. No scenic view from the top. The view lies in all the beautiful trees and small water features along the way.

I took my dog (blue heeler)on this hike on a Monday midday, and we had the trail to ourselves most of the time — perhaps because there are no big lookouts/views. There are plenty of lovely ferns, bridges, and wildlife, though. We saw a little garter snake and some beautiful birds. I’d say it’s on the harder side of moderate, but maybe I’m just an east coaster still getting used to hiking in the PNW :) Will definitely hike again and recommend for hiking with dogs. -Molly

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail for my dog and me. No one there at 9 am on a Sat. Think we saw 8 people total. No view is the o my explanation for the lack of people. The pup loved it!

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Beautiful trail, well groomed. Didn't make the whole loop (used to easier hikes). Will try again though.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Clean and well maintained trail. Recent fallen trees were cut out of the way. Lot of giant snails though! There is no summit view. There exists a waterfall if you hike another 0.6mi from the top. But when I went, it was more of a trickle than a waterfall. Overall you get a good workout. But it doesn't seem to be a popular trail. I have only seen 5-6 people between 7:30AM and 10:30 AM. Probably because it doesn't have a summit view.

The banana slug population on this trail was an absolute thrill! The trail was really well marked & quite a challenge. Loved it!

hiking
4 months ago

This was a great trail for your furry friend! There isn’t much in terms of “views” and definitely more so for enjoying the forest and the beautiful fillings that surrounds you. There’s a nice flowing stream too and bridges to cross. The bridges could use some tightening and can be slippery so be careful!

hiking
4 months ago

The trail was clear. Downed trees mentioned in the previous review must have been removed. Some noise from the materials plant on the other side of route 900, but the noise fades and eventually disappears as you climb. We went clockwise around the loop, which made for an easier descent.

hiking
4 months ago

Great scenery!

hiking
4 months ago

Cougar on trail be careful.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Lush hike, lots to see in the undergrowth. Reminded that I’ve come to this same peak from a different trailhead, and that it is a peak without a vista. Caught some “Cascadian glimpses” through the trees on the Cliffs side.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

I was looking for a respectable hike and Whittaker delivered. Good consistent elevation gain to the top, not too crowded, nice scenery but nothing fancy (we didn't see any waterfalls or sweeping views of the mountains). The trail was a little dusty/loose in places and I did fall on my butt at one point, despite using poles and being really careful. I like that there are several trails that intersect along the way, and a couple of places with .4 mile out-and-backs, so you can adjust the length of your hike as you go along. Seemed like an equal mix of hikers and trail runners. I'm looking forward to going back sometime and checking out the Shy Bear Pass.

hiking
blowdown
6 months ago

dry trail. lots of tree down. nice hike.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
snow
6 months ago

blowdown
muddy
snow
7 months ago

several downed trees across the trail along the way. not too hard to get around but a little tricky. there was still quite a bit of snow over the trail and was pretty icy in some spots. micro spikes would not have been a bad idea, I didn't fall but came close. it is definitely easy to fall. but it was pretty with the snow and small water features.

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