Observation Peak

  • Moderate (from Road 5800)
  • 5.6 miles round trip
  • 1390 feet elevation gain
  • Open June to mid-November


  • Difficult (from Gov’t Mineral Springs)
  • 15-mile loop
  • 3200 feet elevation gain

Halfway between the Columbia River and Mt. St. Helens, the Trapper Creek Wilderness is a warren of hiking paths along woodsy creeks and ridges. Several trails climb 6 miles or more to reach the old lookout site at Observation Peak, with views from Mt. Jefferson to Mt. Rainier, but a little-known trailhead gets you there in less than 3 miles—and allows explorers to take a side trip to a higher, better viewpoint atop Sisters Rocks.

To find this back-door trailhead, drive …

Other Options

The area’s best viewpoint, at Sisters Rocks, requires …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.