Saint Peters Dome

Hike to the highest point in Chequamegon National Forest.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
5.9 km
Ascent
177 m
Descent
177 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
354 m
High Point
471 m
Gradient
Saint Peters Dome Map

Saint Peters Dome is one of the most popular short hikes in Northern Wisconsin. This brief but beautiful jaunt through the forest serves up a rushing waterfall, babbling brooks, a beautiful second-growth forest, and finally, an incredible overlook of the Chequamegon National Forest.

Description

The hike begins from a well-developed trailhead that requires a USFS parking fee. Note that an annual national parks pass, such as the "America the Beautiful" pass, will qualify for the parking fee.

The first section of the hike is on a flat, well-developed gravel trail that crosses a couple of impressive bridges and traverses a few boardwalks. This section of the path was recently reconstructed to be wheelchair accessible. Even right out of the parking lot, you'll enjoy a beautiful forest that offers stunning colors in the fall.

The hike to Saint Peters Dome also passes close to the popular Morgan Falls. You can choose to work in a quick stop at Morgan Falls either on your way out or your way back. The short side trip off the main trail is well worth it, as you'll be rewarded with a beautiful cascade tumbling down a rift in a rock wall, splashing around an unusual rocky corner to land in a dark pool at the bottom.

During the heat of the summer, this is a popular swimming hole for children to splash around in. Even if you don't want to get in the water, simply enjoying the coolness of this shady, narrow valley is a delight.

Once done at the falls, return to the main trail and make for Saint Peters Dome. From here, the trail gets narrower and narrower until it becomes a rocky singletrack trail traversing boulder-filled stream beds, climbing steep hillsides, and twisting and turning through the beautiful forest. This hike is especially popular during the fall, as you'll get to enjoy brilliant colors the entire way.

Even though Saint Peters Dome rises to a height of 1,600 feet above sea level, you will only have to climb a total of 591 feet along this 3.8-mile round-trip hike (according to FATMAP). By most standards, that makes for an easy hike. However, the rock steps and sometimes slippery footing when wet can pose a challenge for some people. While most people will be able to make the trip to the top of the dome without a problem, you can expect to hike along a singletrack trail that actually provides an interesting, engaging, and somewhat obstacle-filled hike. Come prepared with sturdy footwear, food, water, and an extra layer.

Once on top of the dome, you'll enjoy expansive views of the surrounding Chequamegon National Forest, mainly looking north. You'll be able to spot Lake Superior sparkling in the distance, and even pick out some of the Apostle Islands in the lake. While not tall by most objective standards, Saint Peters Dome is the highest point in the Chequamegon National Forest, and as such, provides an exceptional vista. With the flat landscape spread out below you, you can see for miles and miles!

Be sure to spend some time savoring this incredible view, and then when done, return to your car the same way you came.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

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