Explore Road Trip 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Very steep trail with a big payoff in views. From the peak of Mt. Ellinor you can see Rainier, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and the Olympic range. It is almost guaranteed you will also see mountain goats.

hiking
1 day ago

Trail was muddy and a bit crowded for a weekday but we enjoyed the hike and the views!

Beautiful views! Trekking poles are a definite help past the first lookout point where the trail is pretty muddy and you have to traverse significant sections of large roots. This section comprises a good third of the trail and is doable without poles if you take your time. I brought my poles but let my friend use them. Half the people we passed on the trail saw the poles and commented that they wish they had a pair. I know it’s the coast but this is not a trail to do in your sandals. With all of the trail disruption from roots, mud and rock I wouldn’t even recommend tennis shoes. You are best to have something with traction and ankle support if you are going the whole way. When I arrived the parking lot was empty. When I got back to my car it was full. Please be courteous and park head in. Several cars had parked along the curb and this took up two parking spaces. Additionally if you are bringing dogs or young children, use caution. As we were returning I came upon two young children standing at the edge of the cliff. Mom eventually came up behind them... but remember that the trail can be forest one minute and the next walking along a sheer drop off. I am a dog lover but please be responsible when bringing your dog. A leash is required and is a good start but the trail can get very narrow and busy. Please remember that in those tight spaces other hikers are forced to be in close proximity to your dog. It would be courteous to stand between your dog and other hikers. My daughter was attacked by a german shepherd and had a fear of dogs for a long time... todays hike would have been a terror for her because so many dogs that were leashed were still almost on top of us. Also just a few more points of helpful information. My favorite views were along the way. The end lookout is fabulous but if you are expecting to see both the beaches north and south of the peninsula you will be disappointed. Expect a sweeping view of the Pacific but limited to straight out and to the south. Also, we were only one of two groups when we arrived at the end. There is a small bench that can accommodate 3-4 people which is where we sat down to have our lunch. But as we left we passed so many that were inbound that I am sure the area at the end of the trail filled up fast.

Amazing hike! First clear day in awhile due to all the fires. Saw 4 goats on top, 2 babies so stayed clear. Did this hike last week as well and visibility was pretty bad. Glad to be able to see Cushman and the canal.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep your dogs on leashes! This is WAY too hard of a hike to not see goats!! Also, one unleashed dog helped me loose my footing on the scramble up, resulting in a very sore ankle on the way down. This is NOT a good trail for dogs!

hiking
2 days ago

Not easy but the view was more than worth it!

Awesome view and lots of wildlife!

Had a great hike with KR on 8/14. We started from the lower trail head. The trail started easy and slowly the grade increased. For the last km form the summit the trail was rocky and quite demanding. We saw a mountain goat at the top. We took the summer tail in and out and it took us 5 hours. This would have been a 5 Star hike but views were limited due to smoke from area Forrest fires. It was still worth it and a great first hike in Olympia Park.

hiking
5 days ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on. The view at the very top was definitely worth the climb and for that insta pic. The hike was mostly uphill the whole way with ropes to help you climb the steep edges of the mountain near the top. Coming down from the hike was tough in running shoes due to the steepness and loose ground. We were the only group at the top so got to enjoy the scenic view to ourselves. Would definitely recommend!

I wish I'd done this on a clearer day, I'd been looking forward to it all summer. I hiked it yesterday, 8/12, and it was both cloudy and hazy from fire smoke. I knew it would be, but decided to be optimistic and try it. At least the bugs were not too bad!
I would say that the hike itself is not quite worth it unless the scenery from the top is clear, as I've heard the views are quite amazing on good weather days. I found the hike to be tedious and a bit unexciting, though the steep rock scrambling near the top is pretty fun.
I'll blame the weather on being underwhelmed. I plan to try again in the future!

hiking
5 days ago

Somewhat steep and tricky descent to the beach, and challenging (for me) coming back up, but totally worth it! We had the beach completely to ourselves and enjoyed exploring. Started on the trail at about 8 and only saw 1 person until we were heading back to the parking lot around 9:30.

Just did this hike today. It was cloudy and foggy so no views. We did see a Mt Goat. The hike was challenging and fun. It just gets steeper as you go. So I also tracked the hike with my Garmin watch. Total distance from the lower trailhead was 6.7 miles. We really didn't take any detours so not sure where the 5.3 miles listed above comes from. Maybe they didn't go all the way to the top? We had 3590 feet of elevation gain but that is with a GPS altimeter so may not be perfectly accurate but I think it is closer to reality than that which is listed above. So be prepared and have a great time.

Well maintained trail in the heart of PDX. I prefer early as the trail is open at 5 AM. Nice and quiet then.

hiking
8 days ago

Wow! That was up there with one of the scariest things I have ever done, this hike is not for the faint hearted but the views were spectacular! I only gave it four stars purely because of how scary some of the rope climbs were.

Amazing trail. Loved it. We loved the cove at the far end of the beach. Definitely coming back.

We loved this trail! It was muddy, and very misty, it felt like we were in a magical world. I was just waiting for elves or Ewoks to come jumping out. The mist cleared at the end of the trail for some beautiful views. Also saw some seals along the cliffs.

Great hike overall. Arrive early on weekends in summer months since parking lot fills quickly early. Porta-potties, no running water. Moderate hike took me just under and hour to reach the top. You can hear the ocean for most of the hike. First third is wide, well-manicured easy trail that is mostly a decent. At about the one-mile marker, there is a nice view. If you're traveling with differently-abled people in your party or small children, you may want to consider this one mile marker enough. The second third of the trail was wet and muddy (in Aug.) and you have to traverse over huge tree roots. it's moderately treacherous. The last third was drier and and easy hike to the lookout. The lookout had a handful of people when I arrived at approximately 11 am. The views were great as expected.

To get to the trail you have to go through about 5 miles of rocky road - heads up. Trail started out at steady incline through forested trees that were pretty and kept me shaded which was good. Once you come out though it’s nothing but a straight climb up rocks and a steady incline up the mountain. Had to take a couple breaks and I’m a pretty experienced hiker. Huge horse flies on the way up which were annoying and I would say the trail wasn’t marked clearly for the rock part. The top was crowded with people and horse flies. The view was just eh because it was foggy so pictures were hard to get from any angle. The trip back down the trail was tough on the knees, quads, calves -pretty much entire legs lol but I finished it. Not sure i would climb it again. It’s three days later and I’m still sore all over my legs. Bring lots of water - for the steep incline rock part. I went through 64oz by the time I was done.

Highly recommend going on a clear day. No bug issues. Hardest hike I’ve ever done but so glad I did it. Lots of chipmunks, birds and a few goat sightings on our visit 8/2/18. Beautiful and majestic.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked this today, such a shame the view from the top was super bad because of a local fire, it was really smokey up there. Also the theme of the day from other hikers I encountered seemed to be “it’s so much longer than I thought!”. My strava GPS had this at 11kms there and back. The trail was super easy to follow and there was beautiful wildflowers especially towards the top of the mountain. The last road there is gravel but actually in pretty good shape. I’m sure when the conditions are better and the view from the top is clear it’s amazing, however without that it was a bit of too much effort for not enough reward for me, sadly.

This is a fun hike and if you want a nice view of Lake Crescent and, further in the distance, Canada then definitely do it. I hiked it in a group of 7 people with a few that don’t hike too often and we stayed together just fine. Trail is extremely well maintained but is easy to get to so be prepared to be sharing your spot at the top with a couple other people (not a lot, but probably atleast 2 or 3). Took us about 1.5 hours to get up, stopped for half and hour at the top for lunch and to take in the view, and got down in a little over 45 minutes. Again, the trail is really well maintained so if you like going down hill jogging/running this is a good trail for it as visibility is completely clear and there was nothing blocking the trail at any point.
As many others suggested here, if you want a nice cool down after getting to the bottom, if you turn left instead of right to head back towards the lake you can meander over to the waterfall which is a completely flat “trail” with a couple nice bridges.
Overall would recommend. Not an astounding view but it was beautiful and made for a good morning. Kids could probably do it if they are used to hiking but it is a lot of switchbacks so they might tire out easy, especially in the heat.

Absolutely beautiful! Stunning views! We took the pups but it was too rugged for their paws. The first half of the trail is wooded and like any other trail we’ve taken them on but the second half is extremely rocky and not great for dogs paws.

12 days ago

This is awesome trail with excellent view. I agree with all the post that last portion with rope helps on step slippery slop but it's not that difficult. while coming down it was easier i position as if I am going up it helped.
View of lake and mountains was gorgeous, I did first thing in the morning as sun was coming up it lighten up the view.
I would definitely recommend this trail and would do it aging.

Awesome leg burner! Recommend getting there EARLY and bring your best camera AND bug spray! Saw lots of goats and got amazing photos! The way down is almost as hard as the way up and the rock climbing section is pretty challenging.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike in the city.

backpacking
13 days ago

looks like it dropped right out of a book. amazing place!!!

Love this trail, perfect hiking place for a hot day.

Enjoyed this hike. Peaceful and beautiful

Nicely maintained trail. Beautiful view at the top.

on Mount Ellinor Trail

14 days ago

My 22yr old son picked this climb, I trusted that it would be moderate, never again. We got to the upper trailhead late at 7pm. (Note, the gravel road up is pretty rutted and squirrely.) We knew we had to make the summit by 8:30 to see the sun set. We covered the 1st mile in about the 30 min but the upper stretch is very tough. I spent much less time looking for goats then making sure my feet kept moving. Around every bend was another climb through the boulders. All that aside, the top is epic. It was crystal clear making the view fantastic all the way to Rainier. The hike down after sunset would have been okay but my headlamp died leaving us with one cellphone flashlight resulting in a few bruises and scrapes. The top was worth the effort, just make sure you have excellent mosquito repelent (we did) and a backup headlamp (we didn't) for the descent.

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