Hiking the Washington Olympic Mountains
Hiking a trail in our Olympic Mountains is one of the most beautiful nature activities. However it can be hard find the trail that best fits your wants and needs. Some of you who read this are new to the area and love to hike. Others are just wanting to start hiking but don’t know where to begin. This blog will not only tell you where the best trails are but what level they are, how long they are, and if you can bring your furry friends with you. So read on if you are interested in starting your hiking adventure.
Olympic Mountains Hiking Trails:
- Hurricane Hill
- Sunrise Ridge
- Klahhane Ridge
- Madison Falls
- Cirque Rim Nature
- Olympic Hot Springs
- Lake Angeles
- Wolf Creek
- Heart of The Forest
- Little River
Hurricane Hill is a trail that is 3.2 miles long and has a moderate difficulty. You gain 650 feet in elevation as you climb the trail and eventually reach the peak at 5757 feet. With its wide tail and beautiful views of Bailey Range, hikers will definitely not get bored here. This trail consists of three generous switchbacks to a summit complete with interpretive signs pointing out the visible peaks and towns, as well as the various burns that have come through this area. After you reach the top you will most likely run into a little bit of snow, the snow usually last until about the middle of the summer. You will occasionally see ferries here at the top, shuttling people back and forth between the US and Canada. The only downside about this beautiful trail is you can’t bring your furry friends with you.
Sunrise Ridge is also a moderately difficult tail and is 5 miles long. You will gain and elevation level of 1,100 feet. This kid friendly tail is lined with beautiful wildflowers and wildlife. During early morning or late evening encountering some resident wildlife like: deer, bear, coyote, and the ubiquitous ground squirrel is quite likely. It is at its most beautiful in summer wildflowers grow in profusion. There are many gorgeous sites including a pretty view of the sea. Like most trails in the Olympic mountain area pets aren’t allowed here.
Klahhane Ridge is a moderately difficult trail as well as the last two trails. I has a distance of 5 miles round trip. You will gain 1,700 feet in elevation and will reach a peak of 6,050 feet in total. This beautiful trail runs right along a gorgeous blue lake. In summer, this trail also offers meadows full of colorful wildflowers. Wildlife also comes around this area, make sure to keep a sharp eye out for mountain goats, marmots, black bears and deer. You will see views from Morse Creek Valley to Hurricane Ridge. Winter time offers plenty of snow to look at and play in. However along with the other trails you can’t play with your pets here.
With a distance of 0.3 Madison Falls is one of the easiest and shortest trails written about so far. However even thought it might be short and easy it is still very rewarding. This trail eventually takes you to a breath taking waterfall. This Trail starts off with a paved trail making it very easy to traverse. As follow along this trail you will come across a wooden rail, so you can view the creek through the branches of the forest. You will be able to see the beautiful sights and sound of wild birds flying overhead. Along with the birds you will also see tons of wildflower, mostly witnessed in the summer time. The best part is you can bring along your puppies as long as they stay on a leash.
Cirque Rim Nature
Cirque Rim Nature trail is also an easy trail. However it I longer then the last one, with distance of 2.6 miles round trip and a starting elevation of 5,245 feet and an increase of elevation at 310 feet, you will reach the peak at 5,473 feet. This fun trail is kid friendly and has plenty of birds flying through the area. Much like the other trails this one offers wildflowers and wildlife. As you walk along the trail you will be surround by fields of long grass. However, this trail is not pet friendly.
Olympic Hot Spring
The Olympic Hot Spring trail is about 5.2 miles round trip and is also considered an easy trial. Walking along this trail you will gain 600 feet in elevation and reach a peak of 2,084 feet. While heading up this trail there is a picnic stop along the Elwha River and an incredible look at the site of the former dam at Glines Canyon. You will also encounter the bridge over Boulder Creek. Once you cross over the bridge you will soon be able to see the hot springs. However, before you jump in be sure to test the temperature, some of the hot springs can reach temperatures as high as 118 degrees. Along with most trails, this one does not allow dogs.
This is one of the harder trails with a distance of 6.4 miles and has an elevation gain of 2,350 feet for a grand total of 4,196 feet at peak. In the winter this trail contains a lot of snow which might make it more difficult to climb. After walking this trail you will come across a 20 acre tear drop shaped lake. This gorgeous lake was created by glaciers that left behind smoothed rocks and sharp ridges. As you reach the lake Klahhane Ridge and Mount Angeles tower high overhead. You are invited to stay the night here because several campsites exist at the north end of the lake. Also a trail that says no dogs are allowed.
Another hard trail to traverse, with a distance of 15.1 miles long and an elevation of 4,049 feet. This trail offers bird watching and wildlife. You are surrounded by trees and wildflowers the whole way through. If you walk along this trail far enough you will be able to see a beautiful water fall. This trail is not open to dogs.
Heart of the Forest
This trail is at a moderate difficulty and a distance of 4.2 miles. You will gain 500 feet in elevation and reach the peak at 1,900 feet. This trail also says no dogs. The trail starts off wide, with a bridge over a very pretty little stream. At the beginning the trail is wide enough to easily have two hikers side by side, but gradually it narrows as it continues into the heart of the forest. This trail has a lot of huge trees and quite a bit of flowers, however earlier in the morning you might be lucky enough to see a deer or two. At the end the trail descends 500 feet into a creek valley and its end at a fallen tree.
This is also a hard trail with a distance of 13.8 miles and a total elevation of 3,608 feet. This trail starts out steep but flattens out only a little. The trail declines down to a lovely little river. You’ll cross many well-built bridges, with plenty of photo opportunities. This trail also offers a lot of interesting historical things, like a spiral-looking structure that once supported wooden water pipes. There are also hidden caves along the trail. This trail also offers forestry, wildflowers and wildlife, along with beautiful birds flying overhead. However this trail does not allow pets.
Olympic Mountains Hiking Trails Links
Whether you are a beginner are a skilled hiker it is always wonderful to get out there and enjoy the nature and beauty around you in our Olympic Mountains . There are many more trails to explore both hard and easy and even trails that allow you to bring your pets. They may be hard to traverse but most trails have a gorgeous payoff waiting at the end, just for you. So get out there and explore. Thanks from The Spirit Of Port Angeles.