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McDonald Mountain

Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area
47.3571, -121.8837 Map & Directions
9.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2,300 feet
Highest Point
3,750 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
View from McDonald Mountain. Photo by Nathaniel.
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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A local favorite, McDonald Mountain offers great views from the summit and a good workout on the way there. But it borders the Green River Watershed, so please stay on trail to avoid accidentally entering the watershed, which is closed to the public. Continue reading

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Hiking McDonald Mountain

This hike meanders up a logging road that is impassible except by foot or mountain bike (motorized vehicles are not allowed). Once hikers reach the clear cut area (about 2200 feet), you can see the Seattle skyline, Olympics, and of course, Mount Rainier. Do note that the true summit of this hike is in the Green River Watershed, which is closed to the public. Luckily you still get views, even below the summit. 

The parking area for this hike is small, only about 5 or 6 cars can fit on the side of the road at the trailhead. The path follows logging road switchbacks and is largely unimproved until about 1500 feet up. From here you can see all the way to Mount Si, including the incredibly popular Rattlesnake Ledge.

At 3.8 miles, reach the quarry. The route to the radio tower angles up to the right and has a blue gate. At 4.8 miles is the radio tower. This is not the true summit, but has good views, and is a great place to stop, since the summit itself is closed to the public.

If you do choose to continue up the logging road, you'll arrive at another clearing with amazing view of Mount Rainier (about three-quarters to one mile from radio tower). It's best to stop here, since the summit is closed to the public; it is in the Green River Watershed.

If you don't mind clear-cuts, and walking on a logging road the whole way, this is an excellent hike. Just be sure to bring sunscreen!

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

McDonald Mountain

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.3571, -121.8837 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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

Take the Kent-Kangley road east from Covington. Stay on it past Route 169. Six miles beyond that intersection the road will arrive at a sign saying that the road will end in two miles. Just beyond that sign you will see a blue DNR gate. Park here. There is very minimal space for parking cars here, maybe 5 or 6 cars worth on the side of the road.

More Hike Details


Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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McDonald Mountain

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