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Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop

Olympic National Park - Hood Canal

Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington

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Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop

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  • The eastern view from Blue Mountain to Puget Sound.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Northeast view across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sequim Bay, Protection Island, and Discovery Bay toward Whidbey Island and Puget Sound. Mount Baker rises in the distance.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Looking south from the Blue Mountain Summit across the Grand, Cameron, and Grey Wolf valleys toward the Grey Wolf Ridge, including Mount Walkinshaw and the Needles.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Northeast view at dusk.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Mount Walkinshaw on the Grey Wolf Ridge over the Grey Wolf and Cameron valleys.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Moon rising over the snow-capped Olympics. Glaciated Mount Carrie is visible in the very far distance.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Beyond Mount Angeles, the setting sun on the Pacific Ocean.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • Sunsets on Blue Mountain can be great even with significant cloud cover. Looking west across the Mount Angeles and Hurricane Ridge to the Pacific Ocean.- Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
  • - Blue Mountain Summit + Rain Shadow Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular 360-degree view. Short hike. Very near Deer Park Campground.
Cons: 
Narrow and steep forest road.
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Region:
Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
110.00 ft (33.53 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.50 mi (0.80 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,900.00 ft (1,798.32 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Within Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge gets top billing (and the most traffic) as far as vehicle-accessible panoramas go. However, just to the northeast sits the lesser known, equally spectacular summit of Blue Mountain. From the 6,007-foot summit, true 360-degree views that encompass Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean, the San Juan Islands, and the glaciated interior Olympics Mountains are waiting to be enjoyed.  

Blue Mountain sits just above the Deer Park Campground, and it is accessed via the same forest service road. Note that this portion of the road closes seasonally due to snow. Just below the summit is a small parking lot that provides some great views in its own right, and here you'll find the trailhead for the Rain Shadow Loop Trail. To really experience all Blue Mountain has to offer, hike the 0.5-mile round-trip loop to the summit. A short pamphlet is available at the Deer Park Campground that provides interpretive information at marked posts along the trail. As one might guess, the trail gets its name due to its geographic location in the large rain shadow cast by Mount Olympus and the Bailey Range. Annually, the northeastern Olympics receive only a small fraction of the precipitation dropped on their neighbors just to the west.  

The Three Forks, Slab Camp, and Obstruction Point trails are all accessible from the Deer Park/Blue Mountain area, offering adventure opportunities ranging from short day hikes to extensive backpacking and making it an even more attractive destination.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(17 within a 30 mile radius)

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(48 within a 30 mile radius)

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