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William O. Douglas Wilderness
Naches Peak Loop Hike
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Map of the Naches Peak Loop Hike

Length: 4.2 mile loop
Elevation Change: 600' cumulative elevation gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:   Challenging
NWF Pass Required
GPS:   N46 8.752, W121 5.179
Latitude:   46.8752
Longitude:   -121.5179


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

This is another world-class hike that is easily accessible therefore it is very popular and the trail is often crowded. However, I was not surprised to see very few hikers mid-week. The trailhead is located at a fine parking area just a short distance east of Chinook Pass and is complete with a couple of restrooms, which are overused on the weekends.... so, Monday's the restrooms are pretty useless.

I recommend that you park at the Chinook Pass parking area as described above, and hike this loop clockwise so that you have the very best vistas of Mt. Rainier as you do a loop hike around Naches Peak.

Mountain Goats You begin this outstanding hike in a national forest on the famous Pacific Crest Trail. Soon you will enter the William O. Douglas Wilderness in which you will hike for about a mile.

The trail gently climbs as it makes its way along the northeastern flank of Naches Peak. At about a mile and a half, you will cross over the shoulder of the peak and catch your first views to the south. Below you are Dewey Lake and another fine lake just to the west of Dewey. The Pacific Crest Trail leaves the Naches Peak and descends to Dewey Lake before continuing south to Mexico.

Scarlet Gila or Sky Rocks This loop trail leaves the PCT and now continues west with ever-increasing majestic views of Mt. Rainier and the Tatoosh Range to the southwest. At this point, you are actually entering the Mt. Rainier National Park for most of the rest of this hike. In season, this entire loop hike is covered in fields of wildflowers that change species about every two weeks or so. Beargrass which is cyclical and regional can be very abundant if you happen to be there in the right cycle.

The trail loses elevation as you hike toward Mt. Rainier and Tipsoo Lake. When you get to highway 410, you have a choice to either cross the road and take the trail around Tipsoo Lake, or follow highway 410 uphill and back to the parking area where you began this adventure.

The advantage of following the highway is that you get the most incredible view of Tipsoo Lake with Mt. Rainier in the background. If you take the trail around the lake instead, the view is not nearly as spectacular.

Naches Peak Loop Trail

How to get there:

From the Yakima, WA area travel on Hwy 12 about 4.5 miles west of Naches, WA. Hwy 12 will then turn left, but you keep straight ahead on Hwy 410. Follow Hwy 410 for another 47 miles and you will come to a trailhead parking area on your right. This trailhead connects to the Pacific Crest Trail, which for our purposes offers two hikes. One to the north to Sheep Lake and Crystal Lake, and one to the south to the Naches Loop Trail.

Coming from the northwest follow Hwy 410 from Enumclaw, WA for about 41 miles then turn left and follow Hwy 410 up to Chinook Pass. Just a bit further on your left will be this major trailhead.

Coming from the southwest follow Hwy 12 to the junction of Hwy 123. Turn left onto Hwy 123 and follow it the junction with Hwy 410. Then turn right and follow Hwy 410 up to Chinook Pass. Just a bit further on your left will be this major trailhead.

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