OverviewSleeping Beauty is a prominent basalt feature 11 miles SW of Mt. Adams and is a popular vantage point for taking in views of the area. Also, Rainier, St. Helens and Hood are in clear view from the summit as are many lesser but interesting features of the area. The trail up the last couple hundred vertical feet is interesting both for its stonework and for the tightest switchbacks of any trail I've seen. (photo) The mountain is named for its resemblance to a woman's supine profile and this can be seen best from the area on the east side of Trout Lake.
I've yet to see anyone enjoying rock climbing on this peak but the rock appears to be of good quality and very inviting for such activities.
A fire lookout once adorned the peak and a few remnants of its foundation are still visible: link It appears that a few feet of the summit was blasted off to flatten an area large enough for the lookout site.
The trail to the summit winds partly through second-growth but mostly through old-growth fir and hemlock forest and is well maintained and evenly graded. This short hike (only 2.7 miles, RT - Map) climbs 1,400 vertical feet and is a very popular spot for hikers of all abilities.
Getting ThereFrom Washington SR 14 in White Salmon (across the Columbia River from Hood River, Oregon) take SR 141 north 23 miles to the town of Trout Lake. Continue through Trout Lake on 141 and1 ¾ mile past the main intersection in Trout Lake, turn right on Trout Creek Road, also called NF 88. In exactly 5 miles, turn right on NF 8810. In 5.8 miles, take a right on NF 040 and park at the trailhead a short distance up the road.
There are signs on the appropriate intersections so you probably won't get lost. A good map of the area would be a good idea, though, and such are available at the forest service office on SR 141 in Trout Lake.
Red TapeNo permits, passes, etc. currently required for parking at the trailhead or hiking the trail.
When To ClimbThe most popular climbing season would be from mid May until the first snows close the access roads in the late fall. Depending on the year, those roads will be closed from about late November to about mid May and this would be a long trek on snowshoes or skies.
CampingCamping areas abound in the area with the closest at Trout Lake Creek Campground a short distance off NF 8810 on the drive in.
Things to do and see in the areaThis area is renowned for its many lava tube caves, particularly the one with year-round ice stalagmites and stalactites, located here.
Another of the more interesting caves of the area is Cheese Cave, located here. This interesting feature was once used for aging cheese but the idea reportedly failed due to rampant indigenous molds that attacked the aging cheeses, ruining them. The wooden racks and shelves still exist on the cave floor below the (apparently) abandoned A-frame chalet built over the lower entrance. The upper entrance, (if you can find it in the brush and trees, about .2 miles due south) gives access to the cave via a very rickety wooden ladder. For the seriously daring, access to a steel staircase below the A-frame can be made through the crawl space beneath the building. It is tricky to get over to the stairs this way from the rocks and it's a fifty-foot fall if you slip so I don't recommend this approach. The cave is an excellent example of a lava tube with a width from perhaps twenty to more than fifty feet and a ceiling height of over forty feet in places. Bring a coat for the quarter mile long hike through the cave since the temperature is a year-round 38 degrees.
At 215 feet tall, the largest Ponderosa Pine in Washington State is located here.