Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Mount Townsend, on a clear day, will give you a spectacular 360-degree view of the Olympic Mountains to the west, Canada and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north, and the Cascades to the east. Although this hike has over 3,000 feet of elevation gain, the top will be reached without too much effort thanks to the well-maintained and planned trail.

The trail is steepest at the beginning and end, starting with multiple switchbacks in a heavily forested area. You’re quickly rewarded for climbing as the trail opens up with views to the east of Mount Rainier and eventually Mount Baker to the northeast. After around 3 miles the wooded area is replaced with open meadows and expansive mountain views. Reach the ridge and head north to the summit of Mount Townsend with inspiring views of the Olympic Mountains all around you. You can even spot Seattle’s skyline directly to the east.

This hike, while doable year round, is best viewed from late June to October. Due to it’s location on the east slope of the Olympic Peninsula, Mount Townsend gets less snow than the Olympics lying to the west. Wildflowers will be blooming from June to July, followed by berries in August and September. Keep in mind that the top is very exposed to sun and wind, so pack appropriately and enjoy the amazing views.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Spectacular views. 360-degree view. Wildflowers. Well-maintained trail.

Cons

Weekend crowds. Small parking area.

Trailhead Elevation

3,250.00 ft (990.60 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,010.00 ft (917.45 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Olympic National Forest - Hood Canal

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