"There is nothing like taking that first step into a foreign world, and the great unknown that lies beyond it."

Mt. Ellinor, Olympic Peninsula, WA

Mt. Ellinor, Olympic Peninsula, WA

Trail information:

  • Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington
  • Description: Winter day hike/scramble
  • Elevation Gain: 3300 ft. Highest Point: 5944 ft.
  • Trail length: 6.2 miles, roundtrip hike. 
  • Parking Pass/Entry Fee. Northwest Forest Pass

This was a great short day hike/scramble accessible all-year round . One of those rare 60 degree and sunny January days hit the Olympic Peninsula the weekend I hiked Mt. Ellinor. It felt like spring. This hike was only a 2 hour drive from Seattle and you can stop for dinner in Hoodsport,  a cute town on the hood canal with a diving center and local wineries. I recommend the Mexican restaurant on the water- El Puerto De Angeles!

We car camped at the easily accessible trailhead and were rewarded with the best sunrise of the year. From the trailhead on a clear day you can see all of the big Washington volcanoes lined up for an epic panorama. This view alone is worth the trip out to this trail!

The views continued up the first few switchbacks then the trail entered a well marked forested area. We only encountered snow on about the last 1.5 miles. It was too slushy for crampons but the ice axe came in handy for multiple glisadding opportunities on the way back down. The views from the top were some of the best I have ever seen in Washington. Facing west you look across the mountains of Olympic National Park and to the East you get the all of Washington's iconic volcanoes. The 360 degree view is mind-blowing and should be experienced in person. If you can, plan this trip around a blue bird day. The views in all directions are stunning!

Helpful trip planning links:

The delicious Mexican restaurant in Hoodsport- El Puerto De Angeles

Detailed map and hiking information for Mt. Ellinor - https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-ellinor

Looking into Olympic National Park

Looking into Olympic National Park

Summit

Summit

Final trail to summit

Final trail to summit

Enjoying the sunshine

Enjoying the sunshine

Sunrise behind Mt. Rainier. View from the trailhead. To the left of Rainier was Mt. Baker and to the right Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helen's. I think this was the best car camping sunrise I had ever seen.

Sunrise behind Mt. Rainier. View from the trailhead. To the left of Rainier was Mt. Baker and to the right Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helen's. I think this was the best car camping sunrise I had ever seen.

Getting cosy for the night in the truck! 

Getting cosy for the night in the truck! 

The Mexican restaurant in Hoodsport. So good. El Puerto De Angeles, Hoodsport, Wa.

The Mexican restaurant in Hoodsport. So good. El Puerto De Angeles, Hoodsport, Wa.

Summer bucket list Washington State 2018

Summer bucket list Washington State 2018

Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar