Pacific Crest Trail: Best Weekend - William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA

A good pick for new backpackers and fit families, the 25.6-mile leg from White Pass north to Chinook Pass is spectacular without too much challenge.
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A good pick for new backpackers and fit families, the 25.6-mile leg from White Pass north to Chinook Pass is spectacular without too much challenge.

Amid steadily improving views, the PCT traverses relatively flat, lake-dotted terrain in hemlock forest with a colorful ground cover of azalea, lupine, and huckleberry. North of Crag Lake (mile 17), the trail climbs back to the crest, and the show begins. You'll cross meadows of aster, spirea, and blueberries; in late summer, pick a pint as you linger over views of Mts. Adams, St. Helens, and—only 12 miles distant—a gargantuan Rainier. Insider tip: Camp at quiet Anderson Lake; it's just inside Mt. Rainier National Park, yet no permit is required.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 41.2

Waypoints

PCT1493

Location: 46.6394348144531, -121.388572692871

White Pass @ US 12

PCT1494

Location: 46.643684387207, -121.379531860352

Head NW past Leech Lake and White Pass Campground

PCT1495

Location: 46.6518821716309, -121.39331817627

Stay straight @ jct.; trail curves to the W

PCT1496

Location: 46.6530838012695, -121.409553527832

Pass spur on L that leads to Deer Lake

PCT1497

Location: 46.6597671508789, -121.413764953613

Stay straight; head N past Sand Lake

PCT1498

Location: 46.682918548584, -121.40438079834

Continue straight @ jct.

PCT1499

Location: 46.6962814331055, -121.389617919922

Stay straight @ jct. with Dumbbell Lake Trail

PCT1500

Location: 46.7021827697754, -121.385719299316

Set up a lakeside camp overlooking Pipe Lake

PCT1501

Location: 46.707649230957, -121.383964538574

Stay straight @ jct.; continue NW trek

PCT1502

Location: 46.7090492248535, -121.387001037598

Stay R @ jct. with Penoyer Lake Trail

PCT1503

Location: 46.7235679626465, -121.403030395508

Skirt Snow Lake's W shore

PCT1504

Location: 46.7319679260254, -121.403564453125

Veer L @ jct.

PCT1505

Location: 46.7322998046875, -121.404998779297

Continue straight

PCT1506

Location: 46.7432823181152, -121.415214538574

Go straight @ Jug Lake Trail jct.

PCT1507

Location: 46.7482490539551, -121.419097900391

Cross creek @ a developed horse packer camp

PCT1508

Location: 46.7635345458984, -121.427085876465

Very nice camp (4-5 tents) past creek near Bumping Lake trail

PCT1509

Location: 46.7714500427246, -121.427314758301

Creek crossing

PCT1510

Location: 46.7724838256836, -121.427886962891

Cross creek

PCT1511

Location: 46.7718849182129, -121.449981689453

Stay R; look to the NW for views of Mt. Rainier

PCT1512

Location: 46.7909164428711, -121.448013305664

Continue straight

PCT1513

Location: 46.816951751709, -121.468696594238

Continue straight

PCT1514

Location: 46.8317489624023, -121.473915100098

Set up camp at a designated site near Anderson Lake

PCT1515

Location: 46.8478507995606, -121.475997924805

Cross creeklet

PCT1516

Location: 46.8493843078613, -121.477348327637

Cross creek

PCT1517

Location: 46.8526496887207, -121.479202270508

Stay L; walk the SW banks of Dewey Lake

PCT1518

Location: 46.8535652160644, -121.481101989746

Pass many campsites at this popular lake

PCT1519

Location: 46.8555679321289, -121.487030029297

A campsite overlooking Dewey Lake

PCT1520

Location: 46.862232208252, -121.496383666992

Trail heads N; Tipsoo Lake to the W

PCT1521

Location: 46.8719902038574, -121.515769958496

Turn R @ WA 410/Chinook Pass/Mt. Rainier NP sign

Lake View

Location: 46.867546081543, -121.500938415527

Northwest view overlooking a beautiful tarn. A great, very short day hike, from a popular tourist road. ©Jack Haskel

Lake and ridge

Location: 46.734920501709, -121.411781311035

©Jack Haskel

Low ceiling and valley

Location: 46.7546005249023, -121.408706665039

©Jack Haskel

Ridge trail

Location: 46.7665939331055, -121.409629821777

©Jack Haskel

Rainier #2

Location: 46.8065719604492, -121.464370727539

©Jack Haskel

Rainier #1

Location: 46.8121070861816, -121.468368530273

©Jack Haskel