Enjoy stunning views of the high Cascades and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, but only after a stiff hike with little shade and zero water to be found on the trail. You’ll gain 3,900 feet over 5.5 miles (11 miles round trip).
Drive north of Roslyn and fork to the right just before the Salmon la Sac bridge. Drive uphill a bit and turn left into a parking area. You’ll descend slightly to cross Cle Elum River on a bridge, then climb – relentlessly, on endless switchbacks through forest with no views, until the trees thin after about 2 miles. Then Mt. Adams emerges, Chimney Rock, Mt. Stuart, and other glorious peaks. Finally the trail reaches a shoulder crest and a flat traverse across talus with views west of the Cascade crest. The trail drops about 200’, then zigzags NE steeply in dazzling views. Look for the crumbling foundation of an old lookout. The true summit lies west, along with the best views. Follow the footpath that straddles the ridgetop precariously, with a little exposure in three spots. Finally you’re there! Your reward is a spectacular panorama of Waptus Lake and the central Cascades.
You must bring water, and sunscreen. Once out of the trees, you’re in full sunshine on a south-facing slope.