Clearwater Wilderness

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Near Darrington, Washington

Clearwater Wilderness does not offer reservations through Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Bearhead Mountain (6,089’) is the highest point in this wilderness, towering above Clearwater River headwaters. Old-growth Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock shade the ridges with ferns and mosses forming the understory. Ninety percent of the annual precipitation falls between October and May, and as much as 25 feet of snow often lingers in high elevations until late July. You can expect to see bears, deer, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, marmots and elk.

Summit Lake Trail takes you through the forest 2.5 miles and gradually ascends to the lake. The Clearwater Trail (8.1 miles) descends east to the Clearwater River, then crosses Lily Creek and climbs to a small lake and on to the western Wilderness boundary. From the same trailhead as the Clearwater Trail, the Carbon Trail wanders south in a long bend for 9.4 miles to join the Summit Lake Trail. You may see quite a few other people, especially on weekends.

Congress designated the Clearwater Wilderness in 1984 it now has a total of 14,647 acres managed by Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Clearwater Wilderness borders the Mount Rainier National Park to the south.

Help protect your wilderness by following wilderness regulations and using Leave No Trace principles.

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