Birding · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Best times are mid-July - October. Check road conditions before traveling here
This out-and-back segment of the PCT gives users a small taste of what the larger PCT trail has to offer. From sweeping views to alpine forests and lakes, this is a fun and relatively easy run.
Need to Know
Northwest Forest Pass required. Note that there are NO views of Mt. Rainier along this trail.
Driving east on Hwy. 410, reach the peak and drive under an old wooden overpass. The parking area will be on the left side about a quarter mile after the peak. Find the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) trailhead on the north side of the parking area.
Most of the trail is cut out of a steep and rocky hillside, so a few places may be a little rough, but
still kid friendly. Although cut from the stone, the hillside above and below is meadow-land. After 1.25 miles, the trail turns in towards the alpine forest, becoming smooth and marking a halfway-point to Sheep Lake.
Campsites are first-come first-serve and are scattered around the lake. Scout troupes often use this Sheep Lake as an overnight camp, so don't be surprised if you see a large groups of kids. Everyone can enjoy finding tadpoles around the shoreline during the right season.
For an additional run, folks can stay on the trail for another mile to reach Sourdough Gap, which offers additional views, though not of Mt. Rainier.
There are bathrooms in the parking area, which may be seasonally closed or crowded.
Flora & Fauna
Alpine wilderness, alpine lake.
History & Background
As part of the PCT, seeing through hikers on this trail is not uncommon. The PCT runs along the Pacific Crest from Mexico to Canada.
Shared By: Emily R