Jefferson Ridge Hike

Olympic National Park - Hood Canal

Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington

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Jefferson Ridge Hike


  • Boundary between second-growth forest and a relatively recent clearcut.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Looking up Jefferson Ridge.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Looking southeast over the Hood Canal toward Mount Rainier (14,409').- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Looking north toward The Brothers (6,842').- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Looking southeast over the Hood Canal toward Mount Rainier (14,409').- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Kinnickinnick (Arctostaphylos).- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Making our way up the snow covered trail.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • View east to Green and Gold Mountain and the Cascade Range beyond.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • - Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • View east to Seattle, the Emerald City.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Mount Rainier (14,409') from Jefferson Ridge.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Pacific rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum).- Jefferson Ridge Hike
  • Early spring debris blocking the normal trailhead.- Jefferson Ridge Hike
Overview + Weather
Panoramic vistas with little elevation gain.
Access via a steep and rugged four-wheel drive road. Trail includes a section of clearcut forest.
Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,532.00 ft (466.95 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


A visit to the Hamma Hamma Valley in the southeastern corner of the Olympic National Forest isn't complete without reaching one of its adjacent ridges. One such option, a hike up the Jefferson Ridge Trail, reveals spectacular views in all directions. From the Jefferson Ridge Trail, views reach the valley below, Lena Lake and Brothers Wilderness to the north, the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and as far as Seattle and Mount Rainier to the east.

The trail itself is ranked as difficult, but in truth the most difficult part about the Jefferson Ridge Trail is reaching the trailhead. The forest road used to access the trailhead is extremely steep, rocky and uneven. Travel up the road should only be attempted in a high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle. Some visitors even park along the road before reaching the trailhead, opting to walk the remaining distance.

Even considering the arduous approach, time spent on the Jefferson Ridge Trail is well worth it. The trail bends through a vibrant forest of second growth Douglas fir and rhododendrons, and you'll get many open viewpoints before you reach the summit. Because of its high elevation, it is likely that snow will remain on the upper reaches of the trail through June, even if the sun is shining and temperatures are warm. Make sure to carry layers accordingly. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(33 within a 30 mile radius)

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