There is a reason it’s called Crown Point. It is certainly one of many jewels along the PCT. This loop hike offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier, beautiful alpine meadows exploding with wildflowers, craggy peaks of the Norse Peak Wilderness and a really good chance of seeing mountain goats and elk.
Take the Bullion Basin Trail (TR 1156) up the east side of the valley. The trail gradually climbs through open forests and meadows as you reach the Bullion Basin in a little less than two miles. There is a nice campsite next to the creek in the Basin. The trail gets steeper after crossing the creek and reaches the PCT (Trail 2000) in about half a mile.
Head south on the PCT and soak in the scenic views. The PCT straddles the spine of the ridge offering breathtaking scenery on either side. Crown Point or Pickhandle Point both make great places to take a lunch break. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats climbing the nearby steep ridges. It is 2.7 miles on the PCT from the junction of the Bullion Basin Trail to Bear Gap and the junction of the Silver Creek Trail (Trail 1192). Head back down the valley on the Silver Creek Trail. In about half a mile you will pass by Jim Town, an old gold mining camp. It is another 1.5 miles back down to the trailhead. Celebrate your return by enjoying a delicious frosty-cold beverage at the Snorting Elk Tavern a few hundred yards from the trailhead.
Those looking to extend their adventure can continue south on the PCT for another 5.5 miles to the trailhead at Chinook Pass on Highway 410. There is a beautiful campsite at Sheep Lake, 2.2 miles north of Chinook Pass. For an even longer trip, it is only 30 more miles from Chinook Pass to White Pass at Highway 12 through the William O. Douglas Wilderness.
Distance: 7.5-mile loop. Elevation low 4800’/high 6300’
Trailhead driving directions: Drive east on State Highway 410 from Enumclaw 33.1 miles to the Crystal Mountain Boulevard (Forest Road #7190). Turn left (east) onto Crystal Mountain Boulevard and continue for 6 miles to parking lot C on the left at the Crystal Mountain Ski Area.
Agency jurisdiction: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest/Snoqualmie Ranger District
Permits: No permits required
Special regulations: Trails are open to hikers and stock only. Dogs must be kept on leash. Use established campfire rings.
Region: North Cascades