Pyramid Mountain as seen from Lake Crescent

“Pyramid Mountain and Lake Crescent”
by Ron Clausen is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Olympic Peninsula offers a wide variety of hiking trails to explore but how many lead to a former World War II enemy aircraft lookout post? The Pyramid Peak Trail does just that, simultaneously providing expansive, mountaintop views of Lake Crescent, Lake Sutherland, and more.

If you’re looking for a day-hike that will reward you with a decent workout and expansive views, Pyramid Peak Trail is for you. The fact that it also leads to a WWII lookout cabin on the National Register of Historic Places is just the cherry on top.

Pyramid Mountain, once known as Sugarloaf Mountain, towers some 3,010 feet (917.5m) over Lake Crescent’s north shore. Standing at Lake Crescent Lodge or Barnes Point on Lake Crescent and looking north, the outlines of Pyramid Mountain dominate your view.

Lake Crescent from Pyramid Peak

“Lake Crescent from Pyramid Peak”
by Elwhajeff is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Hiking the Trail

The trail to Pyramid Mountain’s summit is a moderate, 7-mile (11.26km) round trip, day-hike. The trail isn’t terribly steep, despite its 2,400 foot (731.5m) elevation gain. Even better, most of the trail lies under the protective cover of an old-growth forest, making it a good summer season hike.

The Pyramid Peak Trailhead can be found in the North Shore Picnic Area on Camp David Jr. Road, less than an hour from Manitou Lodge (google map link).

The trail crosses the Spruce Railroad Trail and heads northeast, gaining nearly 1000 feet (305m) in elevation in those first 1.5 miles (2.4km) up to June Creek.

The only really challenging part of the trail comes just beyond June Creek. At this point, the trail traverses a little over 100 yards of steep slope, treacherous with loose soil and rocks. This section of the trail should never be attempted in adverse weather conditions. A hiking staff or trekking pole is recommended even at the best of times.

A few tight switchbacks follow the landslide, then it’s back to moderate slope. At the 2.5 mile mark (3.2km) you’ll reach the ridge-top plateau. This last, forested stretch of trail to the summit provides peek-a-boo views extending across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Reaching the rugged summit, you’ll be treated to terrific views over the Lake Crescent basin. See if you can spot the ancient landslide that blocked Indian Creek and created Lake Crescent. On a clear day, you can even spot the Mount Baker and the Cascades across the Puget Sound.

The lookout cabin here was built in 1942 to spot enemy aircraft coming in over the Pacific during WWII. As I mention above, this cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pyramid Peak Trail

The trail is maintained by Olympic National Park but no parking permit or entry fee is required. No dogs are allowed on the trail.

Be sure to check the weather prior to setting out. You should also check with the park prior to hiking to make sure the landslide area is passable.

Learn more here.

Olympic Peninsula Lodging

Manitou Lodge is located near Forks WA, just minutes from area beaches, Olympic National Park, and so much more! Our Olympic National Park lodging options include cottages, cabins, camping areas, and Main Lodge guest rooms. Book your Pacific Northwest getaway today at Manitou Lodge!