Length: 11 miles, roundtrip
Elevation: 2600 feet
Summit: 5,784 feet
NW Forest Pass Required
The Kendall Katwalk has been on my radar for a long time. After seeing numerous pictures and hearing about its scary and treacherous crossings, I finally had to make the journey and check what it was all about.
We arrived at the trailhead on Labor Day 2013 and were surprised that it wasn’t completely overflowing with cars. We quickly geared up and headed off down the Pacific Crest Trail. I had read some beta on the drive up suggesting an alternate route that sounded promising, so after hiking approximately 500 feet from the trailhead, we took a little detour.
Our “detour” is actually the old abandoned Cascade Crest Trail, and, for being abandoned, it was in pretty great shape.
Once we linked back up to the PCT, the going went pretty quick. I stopped to snag a geocache that turned out to be a little farther off-trail than I had anticipated and resulted in a nice scramble over a bunch of fallen logs. Just as I was about to rejoin the trail, I realized I had left my trekking poles at the cache. So back up the hill and over the logs I went.
We made it to the Katwalk and, while the view was beautiful, I was a little underwhelmed. All the stories of how narrow the path was across the Katwalk made it seem like one false step would send you plummeting to your death. The Katwalk is actually quite wide, and you can comfortably pass oncoming traffic with little fear of your life. Oh well.
After a brief rest at the Katwalk, we decided to bag nearby Kendall Peak. Back down the trail we went until we found the climber’s path up. A short climb later we made it to the summit of Kendall Peak, 5,784 feet.