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Bearhead Mountain

Mount Rainier Area > NW - Carbon River/Mowich
47.0314, -121.8257 Map & Directions
6.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,800 feet
Highest Point
6,089 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Ridges/passes
  • Old growth
  • Summits

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Saved to My Backpack

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. Continue reading

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Hiking Bearhead Mountain

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.

Hike Description Written by
Lace Thornberg, WTA Community

Bearhead Mountain

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.0314, -121.8257 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From the intersection of State Route 410 and State Route 165, head south on SR 165 for about 1.5 miles. Turn left at an intersection towards the Carbon River Ranger Station and continue on SR 165 for 8.0 miles. Cross the Fairfax Bridge and in about a half mile, bear left at the fork in the road towards the Carbon River Entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. In 7.5 miles, turn left onto unmarked NF- 7810 and cross a bridge over the river, just before the park entrance. Continue on NF-7810 for 6.5 miles, bearing left at any forks in the road to continue on NF-7810 the road’s end. There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

More Hike Details


Mount Rainier Area > NW - Carbon River/Mowich

Bearhead (#1179.1)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails Enumclaw 237

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Bearhead Mountain

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