Total Ascent: 3400ft
Highest Point: 4680ft
Total Distance: 8 miles
Location: N 47° 27.0498, W 121° 37.2336
Required Permit: Discover Pass
On the heels of our Mt. Washington hike, we decided to return to the Exit 38 area to explore a ridge on the opposite side of the I-90 corridor. We had our sights set on an area unofficially known as Dirty Harry's Peak, which promised broad vistas and rusting artifacts from the area's logging past.
The roughness of the former logging road -- large rocks, often made slippery by water -- and uncompromising inclines after the Balcony makes this a difficult hike. Definitely attainable by most prepared hikers, just make sure to bring the hiking poles to steady you over water hazards and rock. If the full trip up to the summit is more than you want to tackle, the hike up to the Balcony is a fine hike unto itself. This hike is also less traveled than the more popular hikes nearby, which means you're likely to get these big views all to yourself.
There's a lot more to Dirty Harry's Peak, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington. You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!
To get there, take Exit 38 off I-90 and take a right. Follow the remnants of old US 10 for two miles past Olallie State Park and back under I-90. Find the gate for the State Fire Training Academy warning you that it closes at 4pm. Park in the paved lot just outside the gates, as the Washington State Patrol which manages the Academy prefers hikers do not attempt to park on the shoulder near the trailhead. From the lot, follow the road over a bridge for about three-quarters of a mile to a bend in the road. The trail is on the right and is unmarked. To find it, look for a trail flanked by a large concrete block. -Nathan
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