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Mount Walker

Olympic Peninsula

Location

Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal
View map below

Length

4.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Point: 2804 ft.

Rating

3.44 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Approachable throughout the year, the Mount Walker trail’s average 20% grade makes it a go-to route for hikers and trail runners looking for a short, brisk tromp. (While it is also a designated stock trail, riders and pack animals rarely make an appearance.) Spring, summer, and fall the 2-mile trail is both ascended and descended by those on foot. In the winter, when the Mount Walker road is gated closed to vehicles, many will pursue the then 2.25-mile jaunt up to the north viewpoint, saunter over to the south viewpoint and then descend on the more gentle grade of the road.

While Walker draws plenty throughout to year, the trail is most populated in late May and especially in June as the splashy rhododendron show progresses. During peak rhody season arrive early to get a parking spot at or near the trailhead. Or park at the north viewpoint and perform the reverse route by first descending and then ascending.

The trail winds and switches back and forth along the prow of a west-facing ridge. Don’t expect any old-growth on this frontcountry hike – except perhaps old growth rhododendron and salal. You will see the complete frontcountry set: Douglas fir, hemlock, alder, cascara, western red cedar, a few cherry and, if you are a sharp-eyed flora spotter, some western white pine.

There is no water source along the route. You may hear water rushing off to the south of the trail, but don’t be lured off trail to obtain it. Both the north and south viewpoints have viewing benches and privies. The north viewpoint also sports an accessible picnic table.

From the north viewpoint you’ll take in the Hood Canal Bridge, Mount Baker and a swath of the Cascades extending into British Columbia. Turn left and enjoy the sweep of the north end of the eastern Olympics – Constance, Warrior, Welch Peaks and Townsend.

The south viewpoint gives you the long view down the Hood Canal, to Mounts Rainier and St. Helens and the comparatively puny man-made scenery of the Seattle and Tacoma skylines.

Winter hikers might need snowshoes or microspikes. Some will trudge up totting cross country skis and double pole their way down the snow covered road.

 

Mount Walker

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.7756, -122.9137 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal

Mount Walker (#894)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

USGS Mount Walker

Getting There

From the Quilcene Ranger Station drive 4.6 miles south on US 101. Watch for the signs for Mount Walker View Point. Turn left onto Mount Walker Road. The trail head is about a quarter mile up the road with pull over parking on the left side of the road. In winter, the road is closed and gated very close to US 101. Park near the gate and walk the road to the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Mount Walker

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