Summit Mount Ellinor

Hoodsport, Washington

4.8/5
based on 9 reviews

Details

Distance

3.08 miles

Elevation Gain

2467 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Nick Lake

This 3.2 mile hike offers unbeatable views of the Olympics and there are mountain goats everywhere! You can make this a longer 7.2 mile hike if you start at the lower trailhead.

Hikers who reach the summit of Mount Ellinor are treated to a rarer view of Olympic National Park, one that is notably more immersive, rugged and dynamic than the common vista from Hurricane Ridge. Ellinor’s profile is, no doubt, familiar to most Seattleites, as it’s the Olympics’ southernmost prominence visible from the city.

There are two options for hiking Mount Ellinor: a 7.2-mile roundtrip trail leaving from a lower trailhead or a 3.2-mile roundtrip jaunt that departs from an upper trailhead. Beginning at the lower starting point adds a portion of trail through old-growth forest before meeting up with the shorter trail for the final summit run.

From the upper trailhead, the path wastes no time gaining elevation with a series of stacked switchbacks before opening up into an talus slope. Mountain goats are commonly seen from this point all the way to the summit. Be sure to stay on the summer hiking trail unless snow conditions are good enough to use the winter climbing route.

The 360-degree views from the summit justify the quad-busting ascent, stretching to Mt. Olympus, Mt. Constance, The Brothers, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and all five Washington volcanoes. Stay for sunset and hike down by headlamp or, if snow conditions are good enough, glissade down the upper slope.

If it’s a hot day, make a pit stop on the way home at Skokomish Park for a dip in Lake Cushman.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • Mountain Goats are wild animals and can kill you. Don't approach, feed, follow or otherwise harass them.
  • If you're going to glissade, have the proper equipment and know how to self-arrest
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Features

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Forest
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Reviews

It took us exactly 2 hours to get to the lower trailhead from Seattle. The upper trailhead is apparently still closed from what I've seen. The snow starts at the fork between the summer and winter route paths. You don't need snowshoes, so don't bring them. Just bring a pair of gators and micro spikes or ice trax to keep your feet beneath you. I recommend bringing a pole as well as an ice axe. The snow is getting too soft to use an axe for support on your ascent, but it will be required for glissading down. It was hazy when we went but you could still see Baker, Seattle, Tacoma, Rainier, Adams, and St Helens.

This is a short hike with EPIC views for the effort. 360 panoramic views- Puget Sound on one side and the heart of the Olympics on the other. I would recommend an early start since this hike can get very crowded.

I did this hike last May, it was a super foggy day so we didn't get any of the incredible views, but it was still gorgeous. I recommend it rain or shine! And it can get pretty chilly up there so come prepared with a wind or rain jacket just in case!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Snowshoe Mt. Ellinor's Winter Route

Climb Mt. Washington

Hike the Staircase Rapids Loop

Hike to Lake of the Angels

Swim at Lake Cushman

Backpack to Upper Lena Lake