Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Colquhoun Peak

Colquhoun Peak

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
47.1322, -121.4598 Map & Directions
Length
1.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
630 feet
Highest Point
5173 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
The view from the old Colquhoun Peak Lookout site, now well overgrown. Photo by Rolan Shomber. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Summits
  • Good for kids

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

This short, steep hike leads to an abandoned lookout site, where nature has obscured the views with tree growth. A careful descent to the southeast from the lookout site leads to the top of a steep rocky area with magnificent views of Mount Rainier and the Greenwater River Valley – just don’t lose your footing if you're snapping pics at the peak! Continue reading

Rating
2.00 out of 5

Hiking Colquhoun Peak

What used to be expansive views from a lookout are heavily obscured by half a century of tree growth. But there are still views to be had from the trail and near the top, as long as you use careful footing. Just don’t plan on a quiet hike. On weekends the air is filled with the sound of motorcycles and target practice. Even on summer weekdays, folks will be out riding and shooting.

At the end of the road (elevation 4540 feet), the trail starts with an immediate switchback, followed by many more as it climbs and traverses for a half-mile through the mature forest with little understory to the southeast ridge crest, at elevation 5070 feet. Along the way, a side trail leads to distant views to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

At the ridge crest, the trail to the right (southwest) leads to an open, narrow ridge with views to the southeast across the Greenwater River valley from Pyramid Peak in the east to the Norse Peak Wilderness in the south, with the visible effects of the 2017 Norse Peak Fire.

Take the trail to the left at the ridge crest and follow the main trail for 0.1 mile to the lookout site, passing social trails on the right to viewpoints. At the top of Colquhoun Peak, capping out at elevation 5173 feet, is the flat lookout foundation with a wooden post and few artifacts. 

The Colquhoun Lookout was a 14-foot x 14-foot single room cabin, built in the 1930’s and removed (destroyed) in 1958. In the subsequent years, too many souvenir hunters have removed the artifacts. All that remains are a few nails, melted glass, and a can.

Around the site, the trees have grown and there’s only an obscured view of Mount Rainier to the southwest. But a 120-degree panorama that includes Mount Rainier can be seen from a point at the top of a steep rocky area. It is about 50 vertical feet down to the southeast from the lookout site and can also be reached by some of the social trails, passed in the last 0.1 mile. Be extremely careful if seeking a photo from here. The sheer cliff poses a real falling hazard. 

While this hike is listed as good for kids, staying on the trail is important. A significant slip or fall from the viewpoint at the top of the steep rocky area is probably fatal.

WTA Pro Tip: It's possible to extend your hike slightly by hiking up the narrow dozer road. This adds 0.6 mile each way and an additional 300 feet of elevation gain.

Hike Description Written by
Rolan Shomber, WTA Correspondent

Colquhoun Peak

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.1322, -121.4598 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Enumclaw, take Highway 410 eastbound for 20 miles to USFS Road 70 (located between milepost 44 and 45 on Highway 410). Here, turn left onto USFS Road 70 and follow it for 8.1 miles to a junction. Turn left onto USFS Road 7030 and follow it for 3.4 miles to a junction in a forested pass. Go right onto USFS Road 7036 and follow it for 0.35 mile to an unmarked, narrow, brushy road on the right.

The official trailhead is 0.6 miles up the narrow road, which is more like an old hillside dozer cut through the forest without any turnaround points before the end. There are only a few places that it is wide enough for two vehicles to pass. As of 2019, a high clearance vehicle is recommended for this last section of road.

The trailhead has parking for about 3 cars, with one straddling the campfire pit at the edge of the turn-around.  It is recommended to get turned around before parking on the uphill side to reduce the chance of getting blocked in.

There are no trailhead amenities.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Colquhoun Peak Trail (#1195)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Short Hikes in Washington’s South Cascades & Olympics (Sterling & Spring

2003)

Buy the Green Trails Lester No. 239 map

Download a map to plan your hike

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Colquhoun Peak

15 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports