From a quick jaunt, to a bit of local history, to a strenuous climb, Dirty Harry’s Peak offers a variety of hiking options with spectacular views. The peak and its features are named for Harry Gault, an early 1940s logger who was notorious for his efficiency in scalping the mountainsides of trees, even in terrain where other loggers dared not venture. The scene of his handiwork, still littered with discarded logging equipment, now bears his dubious sobriquet, although new forest has gradually reclaimed the ravaged landscape. Its most popular attraction is Dirty Harry’s Balcony, the highest of a series of natural rock ledges protruding from the mountainside, with a clifftop view stretching up the South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley. The Balcony is reached by a short, well-marked side trail approximately 2.20 miles/3.50 km from the trailhead. Along the main trail, short boot paths also branch to a couple of the lower balconies, with similar views, as well as to a number of rock climbing sites; when in doubt as to which trail to take, look for signs designating the main trail as “DHPT.” A little farther up the main trail from the Balcony, Dirty Harry’s Museum is the site of one of Dirty Harry’s abandoned trucks and a few other items, reportedly near a cache of equipment Dirty Harry himself referred to as his “museum.” The Museum is reached by a rugged, unmarked boot path approximately 2.90 miles/4.70 km from the trailhead. Beyond the Balcony and Museum, the main trail continues to the mountaintop, but the grade transitions from a healthy climb to a relentless pitch, achieving much of its elevation gain in its final 1.40 miles/2.30 km. However, the cliff’s-edge vistas at the summit amply reward the effort expended in reaching them.
Given their relative ease of access, Dirty Harry’s Balcony and Museum are popular hiking destinations — come prepared to share them with others, especially on weekends. Furthermore, the trail never quite escapes the distant roar of traffic trundling along busy Interstate 90, which snakes through the South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley views far below. Finally, do exercise great caution on the balconies and at the summit, especially when hiking with children or dogs, as the ledges are precipitous and falls will undoubtedly end unfortunately.