Dirty Harry's Peak, Balcony & East Balcony

Moderate to strenuous day hiking or trail running linking multiple unofficial trails that offers a nice alternative to the busy thoroughfare that is the standard route to Dirty Harry's Balcony, with the same pretty forest and lovely views.

getting there

Dirty Harry's Trail Head

Eastbound from Seattle: Take Exit 38 off of I-90, head south and cross the Snoqualmie River. Drive east on SE Homestead Valley Rd  as it parallels I-90. Park in the paved lot just after SE Homestead Rd passes under I-90 (1,300 ft).

Westbound from Cle Elum: Take Exit 38 off of I-90, head north, turn right onto SE Homestead Valley Rd, drive a short distance, and park in the paved lot (1,300 ft).

Putrid Pete's Peak Trailhead

Take Exit 42 (Tinkham Road) off of I-9, head north, and park on the north side of the freeway where the trail starts (1,600 ft).

On the Trail

Putrid Pete's Peak Trailhead

6 mile loop, 1,900 feet of elevation gain

Five and a half of the six miles of this route are on unofficial trails. From the north  side of Exit 42 on I-90 an unofficial trail follows Mason Creek up to Forest Road 9031. Take the road west for 0.2 mile to the Ira Spring Trailhead and continue west on the trail to the first switchback. From here a trail traverses west and connects with the trail to Putrid Pete’s Peak. Take the “Putrid Pete's Peak Trail” up three switchbacks to an intersection with a trail leading off to the west.  Turn west and follow this trail to the “East Balcony” and a nice view of the Harry’s Balcony across the way. Continue on the trail through a rock crossing and a number of small stream crossings, and then the trail ends up on an old road. This road ends at the side trail to Dirty Harry’s balcony. Take a left and in a few hundred feet you will arrive to meet the crowds and enjoy the views. On the return trip, continue down the “Putrid Pete's Peak Trail” past the trail to the Ira Spring lot. This trail loses most of the elevation you gained before meeting and following an old road back to Exit 42.

Dirty Harry's Trailhead

5-11 miles round trip, 1,300-3,300 feet of elevation gain

Hike the Dirty Harry's Trail to the Balcony (2,600 ft), East Balcony and back or all the way to Dirty Harry's Peak (4,600 ft)

Dirty Harry's Balcony & Palouse to Cascades Trail Loop

10-mile loop, 2,400 feet of elevation gain, 2,700 ft high point, difficulty: strenuous trail run

This is a beautiful but challenging trip that can be done most of the year.  There are multiple options for starting points but an easy one is the Dirty Harry's trailhead. The trip up to Dirty Harry's Balcony is straightforward but with a fair bit of climbing. The Ira Springs Connector trail is very sparse with some semi-scrambly bits. It's easy to follow, though, and there are a couple of different options for getting all the way to Exit 42. There are two sections of road that must be run: (1) Exit 42 to the lower McClellan's Butte trailhead, relatively short with low traffic volume. From the trailhead take the trail up to the Palouse to Cascades Trail. (2) Palouse to Cascades Trail to Dirty Harry's trailhead. This road serves the upper McClellan's Butte trailhead and has a fair amount of traffic. It's best to start where the Palouse to Cascades Trail meets this road and running to the Dirty Harry's trailhead to avoid the afternoon traffic.

information for Leaders

scheduling & permits

  • Permits are required in this area for all fee-based (course-related) activities, regardless of group size, and all free activities involving 13 or more people. Leaders may list trips at this route/place with the understanding that they need to verify that a permit has been obtained before running the trip (if required as outlined above). Permit applications are submitted to Washington Department of Natural Resources annually in December. Please contact info@mountaineers.org with any additional questions. More details about permitting on WA DNR land as it applies to Mountaineers trips, as well as our current year Land Use License, can be found here.
  • If you're leaving from the Putrid Pete's Peak Trailhead, please review the Ira Spring Trail route/place to be sure a trip is not leaving from this trailhead on the same day.
  • Difficulty: *Varies*, Moderate, Strenuous
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft
  • 2,800 ft
  • Land Manager: Middle Fork NRCA
  • Parking Permit Required: Discover Pass
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 20
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Map
  • Green Trails Bandera No. 206
  • Green Trails Mount Si NRCA No. 206S
  • Green Trails Middle Fork Snoqualmie No. 174S
Activities

Upcoming Activities

CHS 1 Hike - Dirty Harry's Peak

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Get a good workout on this well-maintained trail near the Middle Fork Snoqualmie with a
Difficulty: Moderate, Strenuous
Tue, Jul 6, 2021
No Prerequisites
7 participants
Registration opens Jun 23
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Dirty Harry's Peak Trail

Day Hiking Trip
After Hours Conditioning Hike at a Moderate Pace
Difficulty: Strenuous
Wed, Jul 7, 2021
No Prerequisites
6 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Jul 5
Foothills Branch

GoHike Hiking Trip - 4-8 miles, <2,000 feet gain - Dirty Harry's Peak, Balcony & East Balcony

Day Hiking Field trip: GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series
This moderate 6-mile loop trail with 1,900 feet of elevation gain links multiple unofficial trails
Difficulty: Moderate
Sun, Aug 22, 2021
No Prerequisites
7 participants
Registration opens Jul 23
Foothills Branch

TAC MAC Conditioner Series - Dirty Harry's Peak, Balcony & East Balcony

Youth Youth activity: Mountaineers Adventure Club - Tacoma
Training hikes and scrambles to get us into shape!
Difficulty: *Varies*, Moderate, Strenuous
Wed, Oct 20, 2021
No Prerequisites
9 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Oct 18
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Dirty Harry's Balcony
  • Dirty Harry's Peak
  • Dirty Harry's Balcony & Peak
  • Dirty Harry's Peak Trail
  • Dirty Harry's Balcony & East Balcony
  • Dirty Harry's Balcony & East Balcony via Putrid Pete's Peak Trail
  • Dirty Harry's Balcony & Palouse to Cascades Trail Loop
Resources

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.