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Devils Peak from Cool Creek Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Fire lookout on Devils Peak (Jess Beauchemin)
Oregon grape berries, Cool Creek Trail (bobcat)
"Old man of the mountain," off the Cool Creek Trail (bobcat)
Map showing the Cool Creek Trail (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Cool Creek TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Devils Peak
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3200 feet
  • High Point: 5045 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Spring through Fall; Winter snowshoe
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This route is a very steep assault of a small peak with a very nice fire lookout on top. For 3.5 miles, you will walk straight up Trail 794 through a lush, green forest with an occasional break for views of Mount Hood on a clear day. At the junction with #793, take a right for a short while until you reach the spur path to Devils Peak. Almost immediately, you will notice the fire tower up ahead. Go up and take a look! This tower is well maintained by volunteers and there is a log book inside where many overnight visitors have signed in. If the weather permits, you will enjoy views of Mount Hood and the surrounding forest. Head back the way you came for an unrelentingly steep path down to the trailhead. Bring trekking poles to give your knees a break. Depending on your season of travel, you may encounter vibrant wildflowers, delicious huckleberries or a nice snowpack.

The Cool Creek Trail #794 begins in the lush Still Creek valley but immediately heads steeply up. Pass below a large cedar and then the sign for the entrance to the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness (This hike is in the 2009 Hunchback Mountain extension to the wilderness). There are a few big stumps under the Douglas-firs, western hemlocks, yews, and western red-cedars. The forest floor nurses deer fern, huckleberry, salal, rhododendron, sword fern, Oregon grape, and oxalis. The trail winds steeply up. Noble firs become part of the woodland. There are small rhododendron clearings created by fallen trees. Traverse up and make two short switchbacks; then switchback two more times. Pass a whole hillside of rhododendrons which bloom spectacularly in June. The trail reaches a ridge spur above this hillside and you make a traverse. From here, there is a view of Flag Mountain, Zigzag Mountain, and Mount Hood. The trail keeps rising with a couple short drops. Enter the silver fir zone, and then pass by a hillside dominated by western hemlock. There’s a view down to the Zigzag River valley and another switchback. You will see a steep gully below to the right and soon pass over a trickling little brook, the lone water source on the trail. Keep traversing and then switchback, wind up, and traverse. The gradient becomes easier as you head up through bear-grass, huckleberry and rhododendrons. Some large noble firs are blown down. Make five short switchbacks before heading gradually up. Reach a huckleberry opening lined with noble fir and mountain hemlock. Then there is a series of rocky viewpoints which look towards Mount Hood. One of them has an "old man of the mountains” formation. Another viewpoint looks out to Laurel Hill and Zigzag Mountain. Head up the ridge, and pass through a meadow with clumps of common juniper. A more open ridge with views runs to the left of the trail. Subalpine fir enters the mix. There’s another rocky opening as you pass above a juniper/moss slope. The trail traverses up below the ridgeline and reaches the Hunchback Mountain-Cool Creek Trail Junction.

Go right here for about 110 yards and then make a left for the Devils Peak Lookout, which you will reach 80 yards later after passing through a thimbleberry thicket. On a good day, you will see south to Mount Jefferson; to the east is the Devils Tooth rock outcropping jutting up out of the forest and a view to the Salmon River Valley. Now that the peak is no longer an official fire lookout, the surrounding trees are growing up and will soon obscure most of the expansive views.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Bull of the Woods Wilderness and Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Zigzag Ranger District
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood Wilderness
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • none

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Best Hikes Near Portland by Fred Barstad
  • Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • 100 Oregon Hiking Trails by Don and Roberta Lowe
  • 70 Hiking Trails: Northern Oregon Cascades by Don and Roberta Lowe
  • 62 Hiking Trails: Northern Oregon Cascades by Don and Roberta Lowe
  • Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.