Kendall Katwalk

Run to the stunning Kendall Katwalk section of the PCT.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
18 km
Ascent
935 m
Descent
935 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
917 m
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
19˚
Kendall Katwalk Map

The Kendall Katwalk 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 this trail run 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 trail 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 running 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. Run 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 run further and enjoy "a series of beautiful alpine lakes,” according to SwitchbackTravel.com. Whenever you're ready, turn around and return the way that you came.

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

Difficulty

Moderate

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

Guidebooks in this area