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Dirty Harry's Peak & Balcony

Our Hiking Time: 4h 30m
Total Ascent: 3400ft
Highest Point: 4680ft
Total Distance: 8 miles
Location: N 47° 27.0498, W 121° 37.2336
Required Permit: Discover Pass
Difficulty: Hard

Nathan's PhotoOn the heels of our Mt. Washington hike, we decided to return to the Exit 38 area to explore a ridge on the opposite side of the I-90 corridor.  We had our sights set on an area unofficially known as Dirty Harry's Peak, which promised broad vistas and rusting artifacts from the area's logging past.

The roughness of the former logging road -- large rocks, often made slippery by water -- and uncompromising inclines after the Balcony makes this a difficult hike. dirty harrys peak dirty harrys balcony hikingwithmybrotherDefinitely attainable by most prepared hikers, just make sure to bring the hiking poles to steady you over water hazards and rock.  If the full trip up to the summit is more than you want to tackle, the hike up to the Balcony is a fine hike unto itself.  This hike is also less traveled than the more popular hikes nearby, which means you're likely to get these big views all to yourself.

There's a lot more to Dirty Harry's Peak, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington.  You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!

To get there, take Exit 38 off I-90 and take a right. Follow the remnants of old US 10 for two miles past Olallie State Park and back under I-90.  Find the gate for the State Fire Training Academy warning you that it closes at 4pm. Park in the paved lot just outside the gates, as the Washington State Patrol which manages the Academy prefers hikers do not attempt to park on the shoulder near the trailhead.  From the lot, follow the road over a bridge for about three-quarters of a mile to a bend in the road.   The trail is on the right and is unmarked.  To find it, look for a trail flanked by a large concrete block.  -Nathan

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Dirty Harry's Peak


Meg said...

Nice pics, fellas! The one of Jer's double thumbs-up is so adorable it bricked my iPhone for ten minutes. However, I am disappointed by your lack of any actual Dirty Harry impressions. Next summer, please include at least one shot with narrowed eyes and gritted teeth. Thanks.

P.S. I'm at my Grammie's house for Thanksgiving and she has a life-sized figurine of a sleeping kitten that I just grabbed accidentally. It. It is covered in actual fur of some sort. Had to stifle a yell. Sorry. Just had to tell someone. Cheerio, love the blog!

wendoger said...

Hi! So on the WTA site it says this hike is 5 miles round trip...you guys say its 8.
We were planning to do this on saturday but I'd really like to know if its 5 or 8 miles.
I looked at both directions to the trail head and they seem to be the same.
...your thoughts?
Thanks a heap!

Nathan said...

Wendy -

The WTA report only goes up to the Balcony. If you want to go all the way to the top of Dirty Harry's Peak, it's another few miles up the trail. You'll probably be able to get to the Balcony without too much snow, but beyond that be prepared for snowhiking. The summit is pretty obscured by trees, so there's not too much to see up there.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I did Dirty Harry's Peak this weekend. I see why it made your "hard" list.

Snow was on the upper part of the trail and water everywhere. Getting to the balcony is doable by most anyone. Getting to the peak takes a lot of effort.

No parking is allowed on the fire academy road. And, the parking lot is a Discover Pass lot managed by the State.

- John

Jer said...

Hi John,

Thanks for the information. We've updated the post! See you on the trail.


Dr. Alex said...

Thanks for having your GPX files available! I used the portion up to the balcony today and it made a great hike!

Jer said...

No problem! Glad the information was helpful!

Dr. Alex said...

Made a second trip to DH's and this time Heidi and I made it up to the peak ~7PM! Great views of the mts. and the lake!

FYI: It takes some time but Dirty Harry's Museum is at N 47° 26.533, W 121° 37.014. There is a small game trail that is easily missed at N 47° 26.523, W 121° 37.094 that snakes up the hill (FOLLOW THE CAIRNS on the path to get there.)
(Geocache that marks the spot: http://coord.info/GC1W6Y6).

Thanks again guys!

Jer said...

Nice work! Dirty Harry Peak is definitely challenging. We've made the trip back there as well and we will eventually get the details on the Museum in the post. Thanks for the coordinates, and didn't know there was a geocache there!

Merle Carlson said...

Does anyone know anything about Harry Gault other than he did logging in this area? It would be interesting to know who he was, when was he logging up here and how much old is his truck?

Merle Carlson said...

Does anyone know anything about Harry Gault other than he did logging in this area? It would be interesting to know who he was, when was he logging up here and how much old is his truck?

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