Sourdough Lookout Trail

Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington

Distance4.0mi
Elevation Gain5,367ft
Trailhead Elevation895ft
Top5,998ft
Elevation Min/Max895/5998ft
Elevation Start/End895/895ft

Sourdough Lookout Trail

Sourdough Lookout Trail is a hiking trail in Whatcom County, Washington. It is within North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area. It is 4.0 miles long and begins at 895 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,367 feet. The Sourdough camp site can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Pierce Mountain Way.

Sourdough Lookout Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"One of the most challenging trails in the North Cascades, the arduous haul to the historic lookout atop Sourdough Mountain is worth every ounce of sweat you’ll expend. And you’ll expend plenty! A 1-mile vertical climb within 5.5 miles of trail—can you say steep? But a priceless panorama of craggy, spiraling, glacier-cloaked, cloud-piercing, unbelievably breathtaking peaks is the payoff! And directly below is an added scenic dividend: Diablo Lake’s sparkling, surrealistically turquoise-tinted waters." Read more
Day Hiking: North Cascades (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Grueling is the hike. Awesome are the views. Supreme is the experience. One of the most challenging trails in the North Cascades, the arduous haul to the historical lookout atop Sourdough Mountain is worth every ounce of sweat you’ll expend. And you’ll expend plenty. A mile straight up and 5.5 on the ground—can you say steep? But a priceless panorama of craggy, spiraling, glacier-hugging, cloud-piercing, unbelievably breathtaking peaks are the payoff. And directly below is an added dividend—Diablo Lake’s surreally turquoise-tinted waters." Read more

Sourdough Lookout Trail Reviews

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9/19/2009
Actually, my review is of the Sourdough Creek Trail (which isn't listed in Trails.com, it seems). It is about 3.5 miles RT and begins behind the Diablo Lake Enviro. Learning Center. Only a couple of viewpoints out to other mountains but its beauty is in the gentle upward journey along the Sourdough Creek through various plant communities. The variety of greens resulting from the dappled to deep shade had me snapping away until I decided to just enjoy with my eyes. Ranger Katie clued me in on this charming hike and I thank her (also for her thumbs up on the completely different but awesome Maple Pass hike I managed the next day). The waterfall at the top was underwhelming, tho' may be better earlier in the season. My only regret was coming way past wildflower season.
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Sourdough Lookout Trail Photos

Trail Information

Ross Lake National Recreation Area
Nearby City
North Cascades National Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Difficult
Skill Level
North Cascades NP, Newhalem Visitor Center (summer) or Sedro-Woolley Visitor Center (winter)
Local Contacts
Green Trails, Diablo WA No. 48
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018