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Mount Storm King

Olympic Peninsula

Location

Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast
View map below

Length

4.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2065 ft.
Highest Point: 2600 ft.

Rating

4.19 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Hikers flock to Mount Storm King for that signature shot, standing on a rocky outcropping above Lake Crescent. But it's a grind to get there, and the climb to the summit can be dangerous in bad weather. Luckily, there are several outcroppings about halfway to the top offering similar views. It's still a steep hike to get to them, but at least it's shorter.

Start at the Storm King Ranger Station, on the southeast side of Lake Crescent. Hop on the wide trail that passes in front of the ranger station, and soon pass under Highway 101. Signed for Marymere Falls, the flat trail may lull you into a false sense of security. Make no mistake, your climb will come.

After just a few minutes of hiking (it'll clock in at about a half mile), arrive at huge boulder and a sign propped against it, pointing the way uphill via a 180-degree turn. This is your turnoff for Storm King. You might want to take a few layers off.

Shift it into low gear and begin your climb. Passing first through damp forest, the trail switchbacks steeply before flattening out moderately at a half mile from the turnoff. The forest opens, and becomes drier as you traverse through giant pines. Keep climbing, and you'll notice the forest around you changing. Pines give way (or at least share space) with madronas and manzanitas; hardy, twisted trees and shrubs with reddish bark that add color to the surrounding trunks of massive cedars and hemlocks.

Begin looking for views when the madronas appear. There are several viewpoints, offering peek-a-boo views of both the Barnes Creek valley and the deep blue waters of Lake Crescent. At 1.3 miles, arrive at a shoulder where you have a through-the-trees view of Lake Crescent and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This is the end of the maintained trail. If you want to continue, the trail does so, but it becomes gradually fainter and rougher, culminating in a climber's trail.

Hikers are aided by ropes just below the end of the climber's trail, but it's quite exposed, and the tread is nearly non-existent up there. Consider carefully if you become uncomfortable on your way up, and don't climb up anything you don't want to climb down.

Extending your trip: Back at the junction with Marymere Falls, turn left and go see the falls before heading back to the trailhead. It's a short hike, and the sweet little loop takes you past not only a gorgeous waterfall, but also wide, quietly burbling Barnes Creek. It's a nice cool down after the beating you got on Storm King.

 

Mount Storm King

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0582, -123.7892 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast

Mount Storm King (#49)

Olympic National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Lake Crescent–Happy Lake Ridge

Download a map to plan you hike

Buy the Green Trails Lake Crescent No. 101 map

Getting There

Drive west on Highway 101 from Port Angeles for 20 miles. At milepost 228 turn right into a large parking area signed for Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls. Continue 0.2 miles to the Storm King Ranger Station (on the shores of Lake Crescent).

The paved, horseshoe parking area is near the Ranger Station and restrooms, as well as a boat launch. Begin your hike on the Marymere Falls Nature Trail.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Mount Storm King

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