“Cool Creek Trail is a three mile run up to Hunchback Mountain and accesses Devil's Peak Lookout.”
— Kathleen Walker
Views · Wildflowers
This trail is usually closed by snow (at least on the mid to upper section) from November to early June. Snow may linger on top north slopes of Hunchback even later. Bring lots of water on this trail as it is fairly dry.
Cool Creek Trail #794, in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness Area, provides access to the Devil’s Peak Lookout and the ridge of Hunchback Mountain. This trail begins at Still Creek Road (Forest Road 2612) and begins a steep climb with multiple switchbacks and ends 3 miles later and 3,000 feet higher at its junction with Hunchback Trail #793
. The steep grade harks back to these trails use for spotting wildfires, when many trails went nearly straight up the fall line to the ridge top. The trail is primarily forested with a few breaks allowing views of Mt Hood and Zigzag Mountain, particularly near the southern end of the trail. The Devil's Peak Lookout is just west of this trail's junction with Hunchback Mountain Trail #793 on an unsigned user trail.
The first two miles of the trail climb steeply and steadily with a creek crossing at about 1.5 miles, while the last mile becomes moderate. This trail is more primitive with less use than many other trails in the area.
Once at the junction with Hunchback Trail #793
, follow it west (right) approximately 0.1 mile to the Devil’s Peak Lookout access trail. Another alternative is to run 1.2 miles east of Devil’s Peak Lookout on Hunchback Trail #793
to the Kinzel Lake Trail #665
Flora & Fauna
The trail begins in a thick forest of Douglas fir and western red cedar with thickets of sword and deer ferns, salal, thimble and salmon berry and red huckleberry. The trail climbs up to mountain hemlock, silver fir, noble fir, and Alaskan yellow cedar. Rhododendrons are thick in the mid to upper section of the trail and are a treat in early summer. Huckleberries and wildflowers, especially bear grass, are found on the upper slopes.