Knox Creek—Thorp Mountain

A 4.4 mile round trip hike with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. While it's short, there are some steep sections. The reward at the summit is a classic fire lookout with great views. This area also has great wildflowers in early summer. In early spring this is a snow scramble.

getting there

Take Exit 80 off of I-90 an drive north on Bull Frog Rd. At the roundabout at SR-903, head to Roslyn on SR-903. Drive through Roslyn and at 13 miles from the roundabout, turn left onto Forest Road 4308 (French Cabin Creek). Drive 5 miles and turn right onto Know Creek Road, signed "Knox Creek: 2." Drive two miles to a wide spot in the road and park here (4,200 ft). The trailhead is on the right side of the road; it is not well-signed and easy to miss.

Note: As of 2018, the road to the trailhead was rough, requiring a high clearance vehicle or parking a ½ mile below the trailhead.

on the trail

The Knox Creek Trail (No. 1315A, formerly 1315.1) is the shortest way to the summit of Thorp Mountain. That's not to say it is the easiest. There are no water sources on this hike after snowmelt. Traverse the head of the Knox Creek Basin to reach the Kachess Ridge crest at 1.2 miles, and the junction with the Kachess Ridge Trail (No. 1315). Hike north on the Kachess Ridge Trail. At 1.3 miles, a short side trail leads to view of Thorp Lake, 600 feet below the trail. The trail regains the crest at the junction with the Thorp Mountain Trail (No. 1315B, formerly 1315.2) at 1.9 miles. Follow  the Thorp Mountain Trail for to reach the lookout (5,854 ft) at 2.2 miles from the trailhead.

scramble route

Do this as a scramble early season when the trail is under snow.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking, Scrambling
  • Seasons: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous, Strenuous 3, Technical 2
  • Length: 4.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft
  • 5,854 ft
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
Trip Reports

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  • Thorp Mountain
  • Thorp Mountain Lookout

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