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Craggy Peak

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Dark Divide
View map below

Length

11.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1800 ft.
Highest Point: 5275 ft.

Rating

3.17 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

The Craggy Peak Trail is a beautiful, albeit difficult hike located in one of Washington's least recognized areas: the Dark Divide. Nestled between imposing St. Helens to the west, Adams to the east, and Rainier to the north, the Craggy Peak Trail boasts spectacular views of the surrounding snowy peaks. Because of some necessary bushwhacking, this is quite a difficult hike, yet is doable in a day.

The Craggy Peak Trail begins with an impressive sign and state of the art trailhead. Enjoy a gentle two-mile climb through a sparse forest before reaching the Stabler Camp Trail junction, then continue straight on the Craggy Peak Trail. At this point the trail is in great condition other than large ruts caused by dirt bikes in some areas.

After the Stabler Camp junction, continue gradually uphill until reaching an “abandoned trail” sign located at a fork in the trail. Keep left. Here, you may encounter snow patches on the trail as late as August, but the trail begins to descend, and should be fairly easy to follow for another one to one and a half miles. Snow patches here may begin to make finding the trail difficult.

At around three miles in, skirt the ridge high above Blue Lake and enjoy views down into its sparkling waters. From here, carry on straight ahead to Straight Creek Basin tucked into the south slope of Craggy Peak.

Five miles in, the trail splits. Take a right to find impressive views up a wildflower-laden slope of the peak to its rocky summit. If you want to visit the trail to the left, sidle around the west flank of Craggy Peak and find stunning views north, where you can see the fin of Shark Rock. Half a mile of walking down either of these trails gives hikers the best of views in this area. Enjoy your views here and then return the way you came.

 

Craggy Peak

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.2133, -121.9163 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Dark Divide

Craggy Peak (#3)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson -- Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 365 Lone Butte

Green Trails No. 333 McCoy Peak

Getting There

From I-5, take exit 21 to Cougar. Drive past Cougar along the north side of Swift Reservoir. At the end of the reservoir continue straight onto FR-25 (don't keep east on 90). Once on FR-25, continue 5.3 miles and turn right onto FR 9300. Stay on 9300 for the next 12.7 miles and take Road 9327 left fork. Follow 9327 for 0.3 miles until you get to Wright Creek. Right before Wright Creek on the left is a great campsite with parking, tent spaces, places to hang food, water, and a fire pit. The trailhead for Craggy Peak Trail is 100 yards after Wright Creek on the right.

The road to the trailhead is paved the entire way, but use caution, deer are occasionally seen on the road.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Craggy Peak

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