Hike to the Summit of Mt. McCausland

Hike to the Summit of Mt. McCausland

Rate this Adventure Mt. McCausland Trailhead Parking

Distance

8 Miles

Elevation Gain

1800 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Beach
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Enjoy views of Lake Valhalla... when you aren’t in the clouds that is! Bag an easy summit just off the PCT and explore Lake Valhalla as an extra adventure.

Begin by driving a fairly smooth Forest Road 6700 for 2.5 miles to the Smith Brook Trailhead and park in the space on the left. Much of the signage has been taken down along the trail, so it may be helpful to bring some written directions with you. The hike begins by keeping close to the road, meandering up to the first switchbacks in the forest.

Continue along the moderately graded switchbacks until you come to the junction with the PCT at 1.5 miles into your hike. Hang a left and you will soon see a sign indicating that Lake Valhalla is ahead. This section of the trail is nice and flat as you wander along the PCT and you will enjoy several small stream crossings. Just as you feel the trail start to slope downward approaching the lake, about three miles into the hike, there will be a trail on your right. This unmarked trail is the path towards the summit of Mt. McCausland. 

Begin the last 3/4 of a mile that will ascend towards the summit. The trail may look like little more than a boot-path at times and can get very muddy in the Spring and Fall as snow remains up on the summit, but persevere as the trail gets steeper. The trail makes small cuts across the hillside, and you’ll feel every step as the trail steepens. At last you’ll be at the summit and able to enjoy spectacular views of Lake Valhalla below, and Dow Lake as well.

Return the way you came, and when reaching the PCT, consider taking a right and continuing the extra 1/2 mile to Lake Valhalla where you will be greeted by surprisingly sandy beaches and an array of campsites. Enjoy some rest here and then rejoin the PCT to head back to the trailhead. 

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $55/night

LOGE Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington

From $400/night

LOGE at The Pass Life

Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Distance

8 Miles

Elevation Gain

1800 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike and Snowshoe to Lanham Lake

Adventure

Day Hike to Lake Valhalla

Adventure

Hike to Minotaur Lake

Adventure

Snowshoe and Camp at Skyline Lake

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

backpacking

Marmot 4-season Thor 3p Tent Review

Marmot recently gave me the opportunity to test out their 4-season tent during my latest travel t...

More Stories