This is an unmaintained primitive trail that is extremely steep, narrow, and difficult to follow in spots. It is not recommended for inexperienced hikers
As the "Warning: unmaintained trail" sign at the beginning of this trail suggests, this is a primitive trail. However, it did appear that it had been cleared of downed trees sometime in 2019. The trail is faint, at times very narrow, and extremely steep until Rim Trail #202
. There are some old plain metal diamond blazes nailed to trees, but expect to spend more time on route-finding than on typical trails. In exchange, this trail offers: likely complete solitude; a good workout/training; and some great loop opportunities.
This trail begins at approximately the middle of Trapper Creek Trail #192
, just west of where Deer Cutoff Trail #209
splits it. The beginning was signed by the above-mentioned wooden warning sign on a tree and a broken (but propped up) sign with the trail's name. From here, it begins to rapidly ascend the southern slope of Observation Peak. Expect to gain a little under 2,000 feet in only 1.5 miles. Who needs switchbacks?
The dirt and pine needle surface is soft and offers better traction going up than down. At about 1.5 miles, you'll come to an intersection with Rim Trail #202
, which is another primitive trail that leads back to Trapper Creek Trail #192
(and is good to combine with this trail for loop making). Thereafter, the trail will be comparatively flat aside from a few creek crossings/descents. The trail ends at Observation Trail #132
which can be taken to the summit via Observation Peak Trail #132A
or down to Trapper Creek Trail #192