A Fun Climb to Observation Peak

Trapper Creek Wilderness

Observation Peak is the highest point in the Trapper Creek Wilderness. As the crow flies, the Peak is a little over 40 miles northeast of Portland. A loop trail follows Trapper Creek for a few miles before climbing the headwall of the Creek’s basin through a series of steep switchbacks. From there it is several miles to the top of the Peak.

The return trail drops down a ridge, eventually connecting with the Trapper Creek Trail again. Overall, it is 14 miles with 3,500 feet of elevation gain. It makes for a very nice hike in the summer on a sunny day.

A word of caution is that the early portion of the trail from Government Mineral Springs is now closed. It is sad because the trail passed many giant old-growth cedar trees. Now the trail begins on the north side of Trapper Creek.

The micro-clime at the top of Observation Peak is quasi sub-alpine. It is bare with many varieties of wildflowers. 
The Peak had a lookout tower at one time. It was removed many years ago, but pieces of glass and other clues remain. Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood dominate the skyline. 

Trapper Creek

Young Chipmunk

Pleasant stretch of trail

Mt. Adams from Observation Peak

Wild Lilies (Bead, Cats-ear and Avalanche)

Mt. Hood

Footbridge over small stream flowing into Trapper Creek

Bunchberry, Penstemon and Beargrass 

Mt. St. Helens

Small Creek

Categories: Columbia River Gorge Hikes, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , , ,

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