Kendall Katwalk

Hike to the stunning Kendall Katwalk section of the PCT.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
18 km
Ascent
935 m
Descent
935 m
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
917 m
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
19˚
Kendall Katwalk Map

The Kendall Katwalk day hike is one of the most visually-stunning sections of the long-distance Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascades! Along the Kendall Katwalk, the PCT traverses a thin, near-vertical rock ridge. In order to run the singletrack along the ridge, a ledge has been blasted into the rock face—hence the name "Kendall Katwalk."

Description

While the narrow ridge traverse is the ultimate goal, if you consider the hike in its entirety, it is a much more varied experience. “The whole package includes old-growth forest, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from both sides of the pass below Kendall Peak, where the Katwalk begins,” writes Ken Giesbers on WTA.org.

The hike begins by winding slowly through old-growth forest. Then, as you approach the 2-mile mark, “the trail breaks out into open talus and enters the Alpine Lakes Wilderness,” according to Giesbers. Here, the views start ramping up in earnest! The climb gets steeper, with some sections traversing a steep hillside and others passing through exposed talus fields. If you’re hiking at the right time of year, you’ll enjoy "a dazzling array of wildflowers, including lupine, paintbrush, phlox, penstemon, and columbine,” according to Giesbers.

About 5.5 miles in, you’ll reach the famed Katwalk. Walk the narrow 150 yards of Katwalk, shoot a few photos, and enjoy a lunch break on this scenic ridge.

If you haven’t had enough just yet, you "can continue on to hike along a series of beautiful alpine lakes,” according to SwitchbackTravel.com. “This area also makes for a great overnight backpacking trip,” they conclude.

Sources: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/kendall-katwalk https://www.switchbacktravel.com/great-day-hikes-near-seattle

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area