Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail

Olympic National Park

Western Olympic Peninsula, Washington

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Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail

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  • Southern view from near where the scramble beings.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
  • South facing panorama of the interior Olympic Mountains from the summit.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
  • Northern view from the summit across the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Vancouver Island visible.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
  • Washington's Mount Baker (10,781') is visible on clear days.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
  • Mount Olympus (7,979') and Mount Carrie (6,995') rise in the distance beyond the Hurricane Ridge visitor center.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
  • Switchback Trail parking lot far below the scramble descent.- Mount Angeles Via Switchback Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Incredible 360-panorama. Short distance. Wildlife viewing. Summit is not frequented by many area visitors.
Cons: 
Semi-technical scramble. Fee access. Very steep.
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Region:
Western Olympic Peninsula, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
4.60 mi (7.40 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
4,400 ft (1,341 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
2,054 ft (626 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
64°F
48°

Tue

Partly cloudy in the evening.
69°F
54°

Wed

Drizzle starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
67°F
54°

Thu

Drizzle starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
61°F
50°

Fri

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
67°F
49°

Sat

Clear throughout the day.
69°F
51°

Sun

Partly cloudy until evening.
70°F
52°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Mount Angeles is the highest peak in the Hurricane Ridge region, and it is easily identifiable from the Port Angeles area. Bagging the summit is a tad strenuous and requires a bit of technical scrambling, but the 6,454-foot peak is also one of the easiest in the area to access thanks to the the Hurricane Ridge Road. The summit is also a terrific way to escape some of the crowded visitor areas of the ridge and take in some magnificent panoramic views of the interior Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

There are a few primary routes to begin the ascent: one begins from a steep switchback trail located at the pull-out parking lot near mile 15 on Hurricane Ridge Road, and another is via the Klahhane Ridge Trail from the Hurricane Ridge visitor center. This adventure covers the former, which involves approximately 1,000 feet of additional climbing and approximately 2 miles less total distance. The route selection is a matter of personal preference, and both provide stunning scenery. Alternatively, one could opt for a route beginning at one and ending at the other, but this requires additional transportation logistics.

The Switchback Trail ascends nearly 1,000 feet in under 1 mile before linking up with the Klahane Ridge Trail. Traveling west on this trail for a half mile will bring hikers to a sharp spur trail heading north to the Mount Angeles summit. This trail quickly climbs toward the summit before giving way to an unmarked technical scramble. Many routes can be used to reach the summit, and the choice is left to the discretion of the individual. Those attempting to summit should plan on traversing a Class 3 scramble at a minimum.

Given the relative ease of access, abundant wildflowers, wildlife viewing, and expansive views of majestic peaks and waterways, this is adventure is an underrated must-do for any outdoor enthusiast visiting the Olympic Peninsula.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(15 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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