While this trail is certainly steep, it's surprisingly comfortable for gaining nearly 3,000 feet. Between long switchbacks, a few flat segments dull the pain between climbing sessions.
Just 1 mile up, you'll snag your first views of Crystal Mountain with Mount Rainier peeking out behind it. Keep right at the (sometimes unsigned) junction with the Goat Lake Trail, just past the 3-mile mark. The trail is dusty, but the views of colorful wildflowers will give you something pretty to admire while you climb.
This trail has been rerouted recently in order to maintain the habitat's integrity and limit erosion. Because of that, several misleading side trails remain. Stay on the path most traveled, and avoid those that appear decommissioned.
At the 4-mile mark, you'll hit a junction just under the ridge line. Turn right to follow the Norse Peak View Trail. In just one more scrambly mile, you'll reach the summit.
There used to be a fire lookout up here, but the remains are pretty scant at this point. Thankfully, there are plenty of more interesting sights. On clear days, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, Glacier Peak, and the Olympics are laid out on a perfectly photogenic horizon. You may even spy mountain goats or elk grazing in the meadows or getting water at Basin Lake just below. Return when you're ready, picking a few tasty huckleberries along the way.
WTA Pro Tip: Bring extra water, as this is a dry trail, with significant mileage and elevation gain that take their toll in late summer.
- 10.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 2,900 feet
- Highest Point
- 6,856 feet
Hiking Norse Peak
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.9644, -121.4829 Open in Google Maps