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Thunder Knob Trail

Intermediate
 4.1 (14)

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

1.9

Miles

3.0

KM

Point to Point

1,867' 569 m

High

1,222' 373 m

Low

668' 204 m

Up

26' 8 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly This is a short trail to great views that is probably best for older kids. Kids below about nine years old may find it too much of a struggle to be fun.

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 almost immediately 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

  4.1 from 14 votes

#6404

Overall
  4.1 from 14 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#288

in Washington

#6,404

Overall
21 Views Last Month
1,783 Since Nov 10, 2016
Intermediate

6%
6%
81%
0%
6%
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

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Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 78 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2020
Venki Parameswaran
4.1mi — 2h 14m
Aug 26, 2020
Thomas Horn
4mi
Aug 21, 2020
Cassie Hudson
At Colonial Creek Campground, evening hike 1.9mi
Aug 9, 2020
Monica Thorne
Jul 12, 2020
Jenny Olechowski
Jul 8, 2020
MNJBe Bauer
Mileage from the parking area on WA-20. 3.5mi — 2h 40m
Oct 9, 2019
Samo Beroe
1.9mi — 13h 32m
Aug 26, 2019
Kelsey Leigh