Nearest City: Hoodsport
Best Season: Year round
How Far: 4.0 Miles
Elevation Gain: 2,444ft
Hiking Mount Ellinor is almost a rite of passage for hikers on the Olympic Peninsula. While technically a mountain, in the summer months, it is a steep hike that offers some of the best views in America. At neatly 6,000 ft, on a sunny day one can see the city of Seattle, the Puget Sound, Hood Canal, Lake Cushman and every major mountain in the state of Washington. From the Crater of Mt St Helens, to the snowy summit of Mount Baker, and even the hidden beauty of Mount Olympus, the view from Mount Ellinor’s summit is jaw-dropping and worth the effort.
From the upper parking lot, which is open from about June until early October, the trail is said to be only 3.2 miles round trip, however, after numerous measurements, the trail is more like 4 or 5 miles in length, still making it a perfect day hike. The trail si steep, rocky and well-worth every drop of sweat. More than likely, you won’t be the only one on the mountain; but once you see the view from the top, the elevation gain and the crowds just fade away. Mountain goats are quite common, and visitors to the summit and trail should have the utmost respect for rules and regulation regarding these goats. Information can be found on the trailhead marker.
From Shelton travel north on US 101 to Hoodsport. Turn left onto State Route to a T intersection with Forest Road 24. Turn right onto graveled FR 24. Turn left onto FR 2419. Continuing on FR 2419 for 1.6 miles, come to a junction. Turn left on FR 2419-014 and follow it 1 mile to the upper trailhead.
If the Mount Ellinor Trail has snow on it crampons and an ice axe will be needed. The trek up in the winter follows the winter route, which leads uphill steeply through a narrow chute. This route can be tiring, but not only an amazing hike, but the views will leave you addicted to this mountain.