The Sleeping Beauty Trail – A Commanding Vista Above Trout Lake, WA

Sleeping Beauty HikeSleeping Beauty is a bare rock outcropping perched high above the Trout Lake valley near Mt Adams. The hike is only 1.5 miles in length but gains over 1200 feet of elevation in that short distance. While some exertion is required to reach the top, the view is well worth it, offering incredible views of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The trail is open in early summer and closes around mid November. The name “Sleeping Beauty” was given to this rocky hill due to its resemblance of a sleeping woman when viewed from the town of Trout Lake. Curious Gorge explains this in deatil and provides photographic evidence.

To reach the trail head, follow Trout Lake Creek Road out of Trout Lake and merge onto Forest Road NF-8810. Follow NF-8810 for 6 miles, turning right onto NF-040. I marked the exact location of the trail head in Google Maps. The trail begins in a heavy forest and starts gaining elevation immediately. In fact, the vast majority of the hike takes place under a heavy canopy, reserving the majestic views for the end of the hike.

Shortly after departing, we encountered a paper wasp’s nest clinging to a pine tree, so I asked the group to wait while I “shot” it. Our friends didn’t realize I was referring to my Nikon, so they fled up the very steep trail expecting an angry swarm. After this hilarious misunderstanding we continued on uneventfully, stopping for water breaks as needed. We reached the timberline about 40 minutes later. Having hiked Dog Mountain, I believe these two hikes are very similar in their setting and trail composition, however this hike is shorter and perhaps not as steep. Both hikes offer amazing views at the end.

We started hiking around 4PM, so the sun was beginning to set by the time we reached the top, casting long shadows across the landscape and bathing the peak in golden light. We discovered a concrete foundation and some steel cables at the top. Apparently, the peak was home to a fire lookout that was destroyed in the 1960s. Today, all that remains are the foundation and a few anchor points drilled into the rock.

My daughter wanted to get a head start on her modeling career, so I was happy to help. After her photo shoot, we spent a half hour exploring the peak and enjoying the view before heading back due to dwindling light. I’ll definitely start earlier in the day next time I hike this trail.
Sleeping Beauty Hike

1 Comment

  1. Hi I enjoyed reading about your hike up on Sleeping Beauty. Trout Lake is my home town I was mostly raised there. My dad David R. Clark was born on Little Mountain which sits in the middle of Trout Lake. I am related to the Marshall and Elmer families of Trout Lake and know many of the Trout Lake people and families there. A lot of people hear Native American stories about Loo-whit being Mt. Saint Helen’s but she
    La-wa-la-clough.

    I need to go back home and visit soon. I miss my home town. Many a year and a day I enjoyed seeing Mount Adams and Sleeping Beauty and growing up in their shadow, picking Huckleberries every summer with my parents and siblings and later my kids and selling them at the Trout Lake Meyer’s Store or to Joe Smith and Bonnie’s Cafe and service station then swimming in Trout Creek or swimming at Twin Lakes or Surprise Lakes and Indian Heaven. We would go pick black caps too up at Sugar Bowl Butte and Guler Mountain. Thanks for good memories

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