Bearhead Mountain is a moderate, well-marked trail through the forest that carries you to an old fire lookout site with a bold and brassy Rainier view.
Start your hike from the shared trailhead with the Summit Lake Trail. This somewhat rough and rocky section of the trail continues for a little less than a mile before arriving at a junction at Twin Lake. Here you can bear left for Summit Lake or right for Bearhead Mountain. Bearing right, continue on trail 1179 along the western edge of Bearhead Mountain.
Emerge from an old growth forest to peek-a-boo views of Mount Rainier and large meadows further along the trail. In the spring and summer, enjoy a variety of wildflowers including beargrass, paintbrush, and lupine, as well as blueberry picking. Fall colors are a spectacular display early in the fall season.
After about a mile and a half of forest meandering, turn left onto trail 1179A. Head up a series of switchbacks to reach the western summit of Bearhead Mountain in about 0.8 miles. Break out your lunch and take in the big, bold views of Mount Rainier to the south, the Olympics to the west, and even Mount Baker to the north on a clear day.
WTA Pro Tip: For an excellent backpacking trip, set up camp at Summit Lake, a beautiful alpine lake with Mount Rainier as the backdrop. Explore the lake on your first day, following the trail north and west around the lake to a rocky ridge with amazing views of the surrounding area. On your second day, set off for Bearhead Mountain and enjoy the trail and views of Mount Rainier from a different vantage point.
- 6.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,800 feet
- Highest Point
- 6,089 feet
Hiking Bearhead Mountain
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.0314, -121.8257 Open in Google Maps