This fairy tale land is for real. Atop the ridge where a fire lookout tower once stood, gaze out to a landscape dominated by Mount Adams and down to the valleys of the Indian Heaven Wilderness. For the little mileage that you put into this hike, you get some big views.
From the trailhead, the trail mercilessly gains nearly 1400 feet in just 1.3 miles, letting up the steep grade for only a stretch of about 100 feet during the process (an indicator that you are nearing the top). Thankfully, the silver lining is that most of the climbing is done under a cool forest canopy of ancient Douglas firs and western hemlock, and usually a crossbreeze blowing through the trees will cool you down. There is no water on the trail and the rocks on top can be very warm in summer months; take plenty of liquid to keep yourself hydrated.
Eventually the trail arrives at the bottom of the cliff bands and you find yourself face-to-face with a grand view of Mount Adams, only 11 miles south of its base. From there, the trail switches back and forth as it continues to climb up to the top of the rocky summit. The summit’s crest is long but narrow and leads to a number of different spots to enjoy lunch and well-deserved breaks.
Heading right (south), takes you to the spot where the old fire lookout tower once stood. If you look closely, you can see that its eyebolts and fasteners are still visible. The historic tower was built in 1931 and boasted construction of a 4-sided gabled roof, which was very popular at the time. The structure was torn down and removed in the late 1960s when human watchers were replaced by technology.
From nearly every perch along this trail there is some grand view or historical relic to ponder. In the land of big mountains, this trail boasts showy vistas of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. You can also spot the Cascade Crest in its entirety through the Indian Heaven Wilderness. When your eyes and soul have feasted enough on the grand landscape around you, prepare your quads for the short downhill burn back to the car.
Sleeping Beauty Peak
- 2.6 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,400 feet
- Highest Point
- 4,900 feet
Hiking Sleeping Beauty Peak
Sleeping Beauty Peak
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.0851, -121.6576 Open in Google Maps