Desolation Peak Trail

  • Desolation Peak trail in North Cascades National Park.


Dogs No



9.6 (miles)


Out & Back

~4400 (Elev. Δ - ft)


The hike to the summit of Desolation Peak in North Cascades National Park is one incredibly tough hike. The trail starts mildly with lush forest and fantastic lake views. After the first couple of miles a seemingly never-ending climb begins. Soon the cool forest is gone and subalpine vegetation begins. Along the way keep watch for stunning views of Hozomeen Mountain to the north, the Picket Range and Ross Lake to the west, Jack Mountain to the south, and Skagit Peak to the east. Once hikers reach the summit they are greeted with amazing alpine scenery and a historic fire lookout. This hike is very exposed and dry once the climbing starts; make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. There is plenty of camping in North Cascades National Park.


Beatnik Poet Jack Kerouac served at the lookout on Desolation Peak in 1956. During that time he wrote his famous book Desolation Angels. Kerouac called the twin peaks of Hozomeen Mountain "the void."

Red Tape

Entrance and Camping Fees Backcountry permits are required, but free.
Contact: North Cascades National Park Service Complex 810 State Route 20 Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Washington Trails


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