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This is a short trail through fir forests to a great viewpoint overlooking Diablo Lake, with views of snowy mountains.


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Map Key

3.7

Miles

6.0

KM

Out and Back

1,867' 569 m

High

1,223' 373 m

Low

677' 207 m

Up

677' 206 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

30%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly A short trail to great views, but a bit steep. Good for older kids.

Overview

This ominously named trail is much shorter and easier than it sounds, at only three and a half miles round trip. Best of all, there are no forest roads to worry about because the trailhead is right off Highway 20, and the hike is accessible year round.

Description

There is a small Thunder Knob parking area at Diablo Lake on the north side of the highway. From here, you'll need to hike north through the campground to its far side to reach the Thunder Knob Trail.

The Thunder Knob Trail begins by crossing Colonial Creek on a sturdy bridge. It then enters the fir forest and begins climbing gradually. The climb continues to the trail's end at the top of Thunder Knob. There are short sections of switchbacks in a few places on the climb, and occasional benches along the way to sit, rest, and enjoy the views.

As Thunder Knob Trail climbs, the views get better and better. One passes views of Diablo Lake and Thunder Creek Valley to the southeast, and Colonial Peak to the southwest, as the trail goes through thick fir forest. Eventually, the trees thin and get smaller as the trail nears the top of Thunder Knob, allowing more views in all directions.

From the top of Thunder Knob one can see turquoise Diablo Lake far below and snowy peaks in all directions. Diablo Lake is fed by Thunder Creek, with its glacier and snowmelt sources high in the mountains. More benches at the top of Thunder Knob give one a chance to linger, rest, and enjoy the views.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 27 votes

#631

Overall
  4.2 from 27 votes
5 Star
48%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#55

in Washington

#631

Overall
3 Views Last Month
2,916 Since Nov 10, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

7%
14%
76%
0%
3%
0%

Photos

The rewarding view of Diablo Lake from the top!!!
Aug 28, 2016 near Diablo, WA
Colonial Peak looking south-southwest from the Thunder Knob Trail
Jul 26, 2017 near Diablo, WA
Davis Peak, MacMillan Spires, distant glacier, and nearby shoulder of Sourdough Mountain (left to right) rise above Diablo Lake, looking northwest from Thunder Knob
Jul 26, 2017 near Diablo, WA
Colonial Creek is crossed at the start of the Thunder Knob Trail.  Colonial Creek's source is Colonial Glacier, high on Colonial Peak.
Jul 26, 2017 near Diablo, WA
The Thunder Knob Trail wanders through the fir forests of the North Cascades on a summer day.
Jul 26, 2017 near Diablo, WA
Diablo Lake below, looking east-northeast from Thunder Knob
Jul 26, 2017 near Diablo, WA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 46 days ago
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Check-Ins

Sep 18, 2023
Sara Becker
Not bad few switch backs but good trail. Good view from the top 3.9mi — 1h 30m
Jul 28, 2023
Clara Lee
Jul 17, 2023
Lou Ann Camper
Jul 8, 2023
Hannah Stewart
Jul 3, 2023
Connor Williams
good views, easy 1.9mi
Jun 13, 2023
Matthew Hamilton
Jan 22, 2023
Alex Moldovan
bridge was out. had to climb over rocks and trees to cross the river. 3.6mi — 1h 34m
Oct 11, 2022
FARAZ DURRANI
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