Devil's Peak Lookout

Gain 3,200 feet climbing up the four miles to a decommissioned fire lookout atop 5,045-foot Devil's Peak near Oregon's Mount Hood. Enjoy scenic views of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness and Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson and even stay the night in this first-come, first-served shelter.

Getting there

Cool Creek Trailhead

Drive US 26 east to Rhododendron and turn right onto Forest Road 2612 (Still Creek Road). Drive a short distance and turn right onto poorly signed, but paved, Road 12A. Continue approximately 3 miles. When the pavement ends, continue a short distance on the dirt road and look for the Cool Creek trailhead sign on the right (1,800 ft).

Hunchback Trailhead (alternate)

Though this is a shorter hike, getting to this trailhead requires a high-clearance vehicle. Drive US 26 to Government Camp and proceed 0.3 miles past the Timberline Road intersection to the Still Creek Campground road. Turn right, drive through the campground, and exit on the south end. Turn right on E Chimney Rock Road (Forest Road 126) and reach the Summit Meadow area after ~0.3 mi. Proceed to a four-way intersection and continue straight, passing a "Sherar Burn Road" sign (Forest Road 2613) and a sign stating "End Maintenance." Take this road about 9 miles to a unmarked fork. The short spur road to the left drops to Kinzel Lake, while the spur road to the right ends at the remains of an old building. Look for the sign marking the Hunchback Trail (No. 793) that ascends to Devil's Peak.  Primitive camping is available at Kinzel Lake.

on the trail

Cool creek trailhead

8.0 miles round trip, 3,200 feet of elevation gain

The typical approach to the Devil's Peak Lookout is via the Cool Creek Trail No. 794. The roads leading to this trailhead are much better and welcoming to more vehicles than the alternate approaches. The Cool Creek Trail  starts at Still Creek Road (aka Forest Road 2612) and ends at the junction with the Hunchback Trail No. 793.  The Devil's Peak Lookout is situated just west of this junction approximately .1 mi farther along on an unsigned trail. The Cool Creek Trail immediately starts ascending and can be very steep and primitive at times as it switches back through the trees and the occasional patches of rhododendrons and, depending on the season, ripe huckleberries.

hunchback trailhead (alternate)

2.4 miles round trip, 900 feet of elevation gain

The Hunchback trail has primitive stretches with minimal maintenance and is a rougher trail overall. There may be blowdowns or fallen trees on this route, which passes through dense woods.

about the lookout

Devil's Peak Lookout is perched on the summit of Devils Peak which towers at 5,045 feet; now decommissioned, the former fire lookout is open for public use and is a popular summer hiking destination for those seeking a tough workout and sweeping views of the  Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness as well as the nearby peaks of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson. Winter travelers will find more solitude on the trail to Devils Peak.

The fire lookout is maintained by volunteers and offers minimalist accommodations. Since it cannot be reserved in advance, there is no guarantee that you will be able to stay in it overnight as it is first-come, first-served, and relatively close to the major metropolitan area of Portland. The fire lookout contains a wood burning stove, cots, and shelving. Although firewood is stored below the lookout, it may run out, depending on how heavily the lookout is visited.


  • Bring plenty of water as this trail is fairly dry. There is a creek crossing at about 1.5 miles which is the sole water source on the Cool Creek Trail.  There is a spring near the fire lookout which sometimes runs dry, particular in autumn. Find the spring by heading 0.2 mi west on the Hunchback Mountain Trail (No. 793) to the sign saying "water." Descend the steep and rough trail north about 300 feet to the spring.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,200 ft
  • 5,045 ft
  • USGS Rhododendron, OR
  • USGS Government Camp, OR
  • Green Trails Government Camp No. 461
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