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Desolation Peak Trail

Difficult
 5.0 (1)

A steep & strenuous trail with rewarding views of Ross Lake & alpine flowers, ending at a lookout.


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Map Key

4.6

Miles

7.5

KM

Point to Point

6,084' 1,854 m

High

1,660' 506 m

Low

4,528' 1,380 m

Up

105' 32 m

Down

19%

Avg Grade (11°)

50%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Description

Desolation Peak Trail can be reached by hiking 18 miles along the East Bank Trail or boating in from Hozomeen Camground and International Point (north end) or from Ross Lake Resort (south end). At the trailhead there is a dock located on the east shore about a 1/4 of a mile north of Cat Island. A pit toilet is available here.

The hike is strenuous. It climbs 1,000 feet per mile through a shaded forest and then breaks out near an open ridge among a fantastic display of wildflowers (mid-late July). On the ridge top (before mile 4 where the trail turns north), you'll find a camp with no water available. However, about half way up, you'll find a spring, but it may not be a reliable source as the summer progresses on.

Upon reaching the summit, you'll be rewarded with views of Little Jackass Mountain, Hozomeen Mountain, Skagit Peak, Nohokomeen Glacier, and the lovely fjord-like Ross Lake. The lookout is a popular destination made famous by Jack Kerouac who spent 63 days here during the summer of 1956 as a fire lookout and wrote about his experiences here.

Flora & Fauna

Paintbrush, Tiger Lilly, and a wide range of other wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ed Heyman

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1097

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#68

in Washington

#1,097

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4,272 Since Feb 29, 2016
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Photos

View of Ross Lake looking south from ridge line leading to the summit.
Jul 15, 2016 near Hope, BC
Desolation Peak Lookout
Jul 14, 2016 near Diablo, WA

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Check-Ins

Jul 24, 2018
G Hill
Jul 21, 2018
Andy Markevicus
9.2mi
Jul 6, 2016
Ed Heyman
Excellent hike! Started from boat dock 1/4 mi North of Cat Island. Up to top in 2.5 hrs. Saw two bears 700' up from the lake in a brushy ravine. — 2h 30m