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Davis Peak Trail

 

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.45020°N / 121.0867°W

Object Title: Davis Peak Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Half a day

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Dean

Created/Edited: Jul 23, 2007 / Jul 23, 2007

Object ID: 315385

Hits: 3430 

Page Score: 79.04%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview


A well established and somewhat popular trail to the top of a peak that has an old lookout site. Good views down on the road below and across to an astounding array of peaks including Mt. Stuart, almost in your face. One small campsite noted but the lack of water after the snow melts would necessitate the carrying of all you would need from down below. From Davis Peak itself, great views down on some lakes and of the peaks to the north and west.
 
Davis Peak map
Davis Peak map

Getting There

Follow the instructions on the front page to get to the TH.
[img: 315329:alignleft:medium:The start of the trail]

Route Description

A well graded trail awaits anyone who is patient enough to deal with a zillion switchbacks (see map) From the parking area, the trail drops down to a nice bridge that spans the Cle Elum River and then it starts it steady and upward effort to reach the top of the mountain. A false trail takes off a little after you get going on the trail but just stay to the right and you'll be on the main trail. You can make good time on this trail as it seems to be graded for pack mules (how heavy is your day pack?) but on a hot day, the fact that this is a south facing side of the mountain will make you pay if you start too late. On a hot sunny day, this one would be best tackled earlier in the morning. It is 5 miles to the old lookout site and we noticed the numbers 2 and 4 on trees as we made progress upward. I'm not sure where they are measured from so I'd depend more on looking at your map to figure out where you are although you can't get lost unless you want to.
 
Davis Peak bridge
Bridge

When you reach the lookout site, the trail continues to the west and follows a ridge to the where you have a great overlook

Essential Gear

In hot sunny weather, sun cream and water, lots of water. Bug spray may be appropriate early on but in all, carry the common sense gear you should always carry. Early in the season, you might even want an ice axe and crampons.
 
Eric enjoys the views from our ....
The reward

A trail report from 2000

Jul 16, 2000 by S&R, Seattle
Davis Peak #1324

A seemingly little-used trail to fantastic views and nice flower meadows. Five miles of unrelenting switchbacks up the south end of a ridge that leads to a high bowl and, finally, sub-alpine meadows and an open ridge. Good paved road now all the way to Salmon la Sac, and then bear right for just a couple of miles of decent dirt road (easy for small car) from there to trail parking. Park at the graveled lot with the “NW Forest Pass required” sign – there’s no good place to park at the actual trailhead (elev. 2600 ft.), which is just a little bit down the hill. The trail crosses the Cle Elum River on a sturdy bridge. Immediately turn right and go right again at the next junction, staying along the river, heading upstream (this area of confusing trails is not signed). Nice woods walk, with steady climbing, and soon enough views open out to the south (Lake Cle Elum and Mt. Adams), then southwest (Rainier) and west (the peaks near Snoqualmie Pass and Hinman and Daniel). Once you top the end of the ridge the slope eases a bit, but it is still a steady climb (with no water anywhere) to a rocky area from where you can finally begin to see the summit ridge. After climbing to a little saddle (at perhaps 4 miles), the main trail drops to the right across a bowl (still some snow patches here but all will probably be gone in a week), then climbs up to the ridge above the far (right, east) end of the bowl. At 5 miles the trail reaches the site of an old lookout (6400+ ft.) with a small but scenic flower meadow and views east to Wenatchee and north to Glacier and Sloan. A half-mile walk west along the somewhat airy ridge (footpath obvious but a couple of places are not for the faint of heart or weak of knee) leads to the high point, where there is not a lot of room to stretch out, but the views make up for the cramped quarters. To the west is a spectacular panorama from Baker to Adams, dominated by Daniel and Hinman. Mt. Stuart looms to the northeast and in the foreground you look down on snow-covered scree slopes and meadows with lakes that have just melted free. There was nobody else anywhere around, though it was a perfectly clear and warm Sunday afternoon! The footpath continues along the ridge, dropping down off the west end of the ridge to meet up with the main trail back at the little saddle (about a 2-mile loop'), but we chose instead to go back to the flower meadow at the lookout site to snooze in the sun. Took only 2 hours down from the lookout, though it had taken us 3½ to get there going uphill. Take all the water you’ll need, as there is none anywhere on the trail. A few minor blowdowns high on the trail, but they are easy to step over.