Carbon and Bearhead Trails 1179 / 1179.1


The Carbon Trail offers spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and the valley below. Expect a steady elevation gain with enough flat areas to relieve your legs from the constant climb. Many viewpoints near the summit allow unobstructed views of Mt. Rainier. An abundant array of beautiful wildflowers and lupine will reward you in early August. 

The trail begins .5 miles up the Summit Lake Trail 1177 and meanders through the Clearwater Wilderness with some steep sections at Hurricane Gap.  Follow the trail to Bearhead Mountain through old growth forest and meadows of shrubs and wildflowers at 5,000 feet. On a clear day this is the first viewpoint of Mt. Rainier. Along the trail you will see old shelters. Double Camp is at mile 2.4 and W.E. Camp is just across the Clearwater River at mile 5. In another half mile you will reach Hurricane Gap at an elevation of 4,960 feet. One of the best views of Mt. Rainier is just ahead at mile 7.9. At mile 8.1 you will reach the junction with Bearhead Trail 1179.1. Bearhead Trail climbs to the top of Bearhead Mountain, an old lookout site at 6,069 feet elevation. The summit offers views of the surrounding area and Mt. Rainier. Carbon Trail 1179 descends through old growth timber to Twin Lake where it connects with the Summit Lake Trail 1177.

Washington Trails Association (WTA)

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: Summer/Fall
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply. Dogs must be on a leash. Use established rings for campfires.
Closest Towns: Enumclaw, WA
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Summit Lake trailhead.
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Snoqualmie Ranger District, Enumclaw Office at 360-825-6585.

General Information


Summit Lake Trailhead:

From Enumclaw, drive west on State Highway 410 for 5.0 miles to the junction with State Highway 165 just west of Buckley. Continue for 10.5 miles to the junction of Carbon River Highway and Mowich Lake Highway. Turn left onto the Carbon River Highway and follow it 7.7 miles to Cayada Creek Road #7810. Cross the bridge over the river and continue 6.7 miles to end of road. The trailhead is at end of road #7810; difficult turnaround.

General Notes:

• Green Trails Enumclaw 237
• Snoqualmie Ranger District

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities

Find your favorite spot!

  • Trails & Campgrounds


  Area/Length : 
9.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4200 feet - 4800 feet