Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Olympic National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

For all of you wondering if you can make it without spikes and poles, I did this today in shorts and sandals. Not very smart, but doable (please wear closed shoes at least).

hiking
13 hours ago

1st Trip here was 6/23 but I'm sure it won't be my last as this is one of my new favorites. Start early if you want to avoid the crowds. Arrived and departed the Lower Trail around 6AM Saturday morning, only 2 other cars parked here at that time. Trail is in amazing condition, you can tell its both well traveled and well taken care of. Beautiful scenery all the way up, with the exception of the cloud layer. No sign of snow until about the split for the "Summer/Winter Routes". About 2.5 Miles in came to a good snow chute headed up the Mountain. Came equipped with Ice Axe, Crampons, and Microspikes but decided just to wear the spikes, as the snow was pretty slushy. It was slippery but not impossible. I also cheated by letting my 85Lb Lab help pull me up the slope. Once up the snow field there was still quite the distance to the summit but its well marked and very a stable path. Reached the summit around 8AM and had it to myself for about a half hour. Enjoyed view of Rainier, Adams, St Helens and Even Hood, before it disappeared in the clouds. Cloud layer was thick around 5500' so view of Lake Cushman or anything else, but the Olympics were well on Display. Also didn't get to see any Mountain Goats (Besides Hero the Yellow Lab) but you could see signs of them all over with fur hanging from all the trees. Passed many people on the way down and once back to the Lower TH was surprised to see upwards of 20-30 cars parked all along the road both up/down of TH.

Beautiful, but the swimming area draws a crowd. Definitely worth a visit for an easy stroll against a gorgeous backdrop.

We went from the lower trail head with our 1 yo lab pup. Not ample parking at the lower, but similar to other trails around, there doesn't seem to be any shortage alongside the road (we went Friday, so cannot speak to what weekend traffic is like). I can see why this is rated difficult - it was our first hike of the season, so chalk it a little bit up to being somewhat out of shape :) but it is a fairly steady climb, particularly as you get going. We saw two mountain goats from a little distance. We hit snow about 2 miles in. Packed, slushy, definitely stay on trail. Up in the chute it got a little dicey and slick. Can tell where people were glissading down - that is where we had to turn around. We had hiking shoes, but no gaiters or poles, and our pup likes to pull, so thought it would treacherous on the way back down. Can't wait to try it again later this summer. It was cloudy too - still beautiful, but not too heartbroken about not making it to summit in the clouds/fog. Was starting to clear on the way back down and could see beautiful view of Lake Cushman through the trees. Def recommend this one.

Done as a day hike, but their are plenty of campsites at the top. Absolutely beautiful scenery the whole way up. Discover pass isn't accepted here, so make sure you get a day or national pass at the ranger station.

Good overall hike. Not too many people which was nice. Once you get down to the creek towards the end things can get hairy, as thick & thorny vegetation encompasses either side of the trail. Once we finally saw the waterfall we had to traverse across a large fallen down tree to get to the landing area where everyone was hanging out.

You'll definitely have spaghetti legs after this hike. Consistent uphill all the way to the top, and a quad killer descent back down. Trail is in great shape, I'm sure the view from the top is awesome when not socked in by clouds.

backpacking
3 days ago

never BBC ral lk y done to much of this stuff really just jumping in head first. had as grest time although there was more snow than i anticipated and so was ill prepsred to make it to the top. i will try again though

READ IF YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED THIS ONE. Never got the chance because we are in town visiting so I had no preknowledge of this trail. So some things to know that would have been helpful. 1) you need a wilderness pass but you only find out once you get there since it is only posted at the upper trail head. 2) the lower trail head is just a small sign and enough parking for maybe 3 cars. 3) The upper trail head is a 2+ mile hike, decent incline but half as long. Still it's on my bucket list next time I am in town

hiking
4 days ago

Difficult at times, and really discouraging when you get to the top and see cars and a lot of people.

Snow covered path uo top still and there are some hole in the snow, use extream caution. path is very steep, I found out real quick this hike is not for a faint of heart. beautiful summer day with panoramic view on submit. Did glisssading down the snow a bit, wish we had ice axe for some extra fun. Had lunch there with the family of curious mountain goat. there are so many stairs! Knees legs and the bottom hurts afterwards but 100 well worth it.

hiking
7 days ago

A good work-out of a hike, like a never-ending stair-master, but you end with absolutely stunning views! We brought our two pups and they really enjoyed it. Some obstacles like downed trees that we had to lift them over. A lot of rocky areas so recommend booties for your pups if they have sensitive feet. Start in a lush mossy fern forest and travel through sub alpine landscapes. Beautiful views of Mt. Olympus and the ranges, as well as Lake Quinalt. Recommend getting to the trailhead before 9 to beat the crowd, but overall not a popular hike like in other areas of the Olympics. Only passed a handful of people on the way down in the afternoon . Bring lots of water! Still small sections of snow around the last 800ft. Trekking poles worked well for us, as well as others.

Beautiful and perfect

Still alot if snow 25 percent of the trail fast getting down though slide a good part of the snow field. 3 Mt goats up top 1 circled around on us and came up from behind a teenager who was not aware. We warned him and the rest of the people.

hiking
7 days ago

This is definitely a harder hike, very consistently up hill on the way up without really any break. It took us a while, but I had our 25 pound toddler on my back and we took quite a few breaks. The view at the end was beautiful, well worth it.

Update as of 16 June 18 part of trail is still heavily snow covered was able to glisade safely down snow covered portions though.

On a sunny views from the top are as good as they come! You have to earn it though as the trail is steep and rugged. At the first dry wash head straight across and a little to the right to rejoin the trail. Fletcher creek is currently too wide to cross without getting your feet a little wet. We encountered a non-trivial amount of snow between Moonshine Flats and the summit. We were happy to have micro spikes but saw other groups that had nothing and made it just fine. Post holing was not an issue.

hard hike

A nice trip in the evening with the sunset.

hiking
14 days ago

I love this one. Also on the top of my list of favorites.
This one is the master of all stair climbers.

Good Conditioning trail :)

backpacking
17 days ago

loved this. killer elevation gains were incredibly worth it! Between our gear and the switchbacks, we were dead exhausted at the summit. The views as you ascend peak through here and there but the top was incredible. plan on returning again soon!

Still had a tough snow cover for the last 3/4 mile to the summit. I won’t say it’s impossible but its very dangerous and slippery. Equipment needed still to reach summit as of 6/6/18

Beautiful hike up. At least 4.5 miles to the top (listed distance is incorrect). Made for a longer day than expected.

There are definitely some obstacles along the way and some heavy growth (downed trees and such) but not tough to get past.

Snow up at the top and very happy that we had snowshoes as post-holing was a theme. Would recommend them now or crampons to get to the top.

20 days ago

Very difficult hike. Definitely worth driving to the top but the hike is almost straight up the whole time. It was rainy and cloudy when we went so there was basically no view but I'm sure it's beautiful when it's clear. The mileage is a little off-the hike is 4 miles round trip

Quite the hump from 27190 to the top. Seen a mountain goat at the top of the Townsend. Definitely get there around 0200-0400 to get a good parking spot. If you have those who are out of shape in your group plan on making a lot of little stops due to how steep it is. Beautiful views well maintained trail.

It was a beast!!! BUT so worth the long and hard trail...I don’t usually hike and did it. Make sure you bring anything that takes pictures because if you don’t...you’ll regret it. Start early!!! We hit the upper trail head at 3:30am...so worth it.

awesome hike but was not able to make it to the top- the snow is super wet on the last 0.5 mile and pretty well straight up (steep elevation gain!). The snow kept giving out so we ended up aborting. Would recommend an axe and poles for sure.

hiking
29 days ago

Completed this summit Memorial Day weekend 2018. Road to the trailhead is FULL of potholes, but with careful driving I made it in a super low clearance vehicle. Road to the upper trailhead was clear of snow, so I took that route. The RT distance is 3.4ish rather than 5.3 miles from the upper trailhead. I took the winter route (I don't believe the summer route is available yet). I had a read a few reviews that mentioned snow, but I did not expect to be climbing straight up snowpack (my fault for not researching more). Being from the east US, the "trail" looked more like a ski slope to me. I was VERY ill-eqipped for the climb. I made it with microspikes and trekking poles, but there were some really sketchy areas that made me incredibly nervous. The snow melt is in full force right now, and I would bet the winter route will be impassable in just a few weeks. Lots of soft slippery snow and plenty of areas where the melt has carved out holes in the bottom of the snowpack. Worst part for me was that it was cloudy at the summit so I was not rewarded with views. Glissaded most of the way down, but even that is pretty nerve-wracking because there are several rocks in the middle of the trail at some points. If you want to complete the winter route in the spring, at MINIMUM I would bring full crampons, poles, and an ice axe. Even better, water proof pants, gloves, and gaiters for glissading down--I was soaked head to toe and freezing when I got back to the car.

All that said, I would LOVE to come back and give Ellinor a proper go with the right gear on a clear early spring day when the snow is more solid. The bits of vistas I peaked through the clouds looked stunning.

Total time for me was about 4 hours, with most of that being the ascent.

The gravel roads to the trailheads are full of potholes. Arrived at the Upper Trailhead around 930am, numerous cars already parked on the roads. There was a decent amount of snow/ice right before the upper trailhead parking lot so most people parked before it and walked to the trailhead. Bathroom was locked. Start of the trail was clear of snow. The switchbacks were a steady leg-burn. There were a few fallen trees on the trail. At the top of the switchbacks, there was snow. Most people took a break at the little stream at the bottom of the steep mountain climb. We didn't reach the summit. The climb was a little too challenging for our dog. Lots of people out climbing though, a few with dogs. Would recommend gear: ice cleats, poles, and/or an ice pick, waterproof pants and shoes. Did glissading on the way down but only halfway as there was a giant hole with rocks on the route of the glissading. Beautiful views from where we climbed. Didn't have any problems with bugs.

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