Norse Peak Wilderness
Norse Peak Wilderness begins just northeast of Mount Rainier National Park and reaches down both sides of the Cascade Mountain Range crest. Narrow drainages open below rockbound ridges that slice into an area dotted with basins and lakes. Douglas fir, western hemlock and cedar with an understory of ferns and decorate the western side. The eastern side of the crest gives way to mountain hemlock, subalpine fir and alpine meadows before dropping down to a forest of larch, spruce and pine.
Old mine shafts, tailings and derelict cabins on the southwest corner of the wilderness are remnants left from the gold mining days.
Rock climbers are challenged by the bold face of Fifes Peaks. Hike the Norse Peak Trail # 1191 5.2 miles to the summit at 6,856 feet, where you will be rewarded with panoramic views. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses this wilderness for about 27 miles.
Congress designated the Norse Peak Wilderness in 1984 and it now totals 52,180 acres with 15,654 in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. All of this wilderness is located in Washington and is managed by the Forest Service. The Norse Peak Wilderness borders William O. Douglas Wilderness to the south.