Mount Townsend Trail

HARD 171 reviews
#3 of 31 trails in

Mount Townsend Trail is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Quilcene, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,035 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

Directions from Quilcene: Travel one mile south, then turn right onto Penny Creek Road. Follow Penny Creek for 1.4 miles, staying left at the Y, and continue to the Forest Service boundary and paved FS Road 27. Proceed on FS 27 for another 10.6 miles to FS 2760. Follow FS 2760 for .7 miles to the trailhead. There is ample parking.

1 month ago

The hike now has snow on the upper half. Bring your mini crampons if you can. Also be prepared for a drastic change in temperature once you reach the top

1 month ago

the best views, and no snow! beautiful, well maintained trail, clearly marked. started from the upper trail head, 8 miles round trip. highly recommend, very much worth the work.

2 months ago

The last time I hiked this trail was when I was in my late 30’s/early 40’s and I haven’t been up there since, which was back in the mid 80’s. I’m 72 now and still wanting to do that hike again. Your reward for hiking to the top is the view you get when you get there. Be sure the weather report for the day of your hike is for clear weather because you will be able to see almost all of the Puget Sound and Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Victoria, BC all the big cities in Puget Sound and when you turn around you see all the snow covered peaks of the Olympic Range. The view up there is what it’s all about, so if you haven’t been there yet, you should go.

2 months ago

Great hike, beautiful views 8 miles round trip from upper parking lot, bring plenty of water. well maintained trail.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is shoots and ladders getting up. Starts out pretty mild but then the rest of the trip up to Lake of the Angels is a steep trek. Definitely recommend poles if you have them. The views were incredible and was a perfect fall hike. Worth every drop of sweat. Would have been great to camp out near the lake so we could have done a little more exploring around the peeks, but left for another time. We were able to do this as a day hike, but would make a perfect one night stay. Getting down was kinda rough, but it’s nice that it mellows out in the end.

hiking
3 months ago

There's plenty of parking, a pit toilet at the trailhead, and the trail is only about 8 miles total if you start from the upper trailhead. The trail itself is incredibly well maintained and well marked and the views from the ridge were well worth the miles of switchbacks!

5 months ago

went there August 12th 2018. it was cloudy but definitely a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Groomed trail. Beautiful views. Aggressive huge horse flies; bee body with fly wings! Steady climb up. No cover at about 2 miles. Suggest starting early to avoid the hot sun. Beautiful display of wild flowers at 2 miles.

5 months ago

Best maintained hiking trail I’ve been on. Went today and it was beautiful weather! A little hazy at the top but well worth every step up. Take bug spray and use it frequently- lots of bugs. Get there early for parking. Best hiking trail I’ve been on!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful views. Worth the trek up. Highly recommend putting this on your summer to-hike list. It is a popular hike so preferably do this on a weekday and start early if you like solitude.

hiking
6 months ago

Had an amazing time up here today.
Taking forest road 27 to the trailhead is super easy: there are signs for both the upper and lower trailheads. Lower trailhead was crowded on a Saturday morning, but we were able to squeeze into one of the last spots around 8:45am.
Trail is definitely a hard one, but nothing unmanageable and well worth the spectacular views of both the Olympics and Cascades.

hiking
6 months ago

Incredible views after the first few miles! This is a tough trail for novices, we were pooped when we got back to the the car. But smiling!

6 months ago

Beautiful and perfect

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

A grind up for someone with asthma, but every rest stop had a spectacular view. it was cloudy but that didn't take away from the experience at the top. Snow in some places towards and at the top but not enough to obstruct the trail.

hiking
11 months ago

I give this 5 stars because it's a fairly tame hike for the most amazing views. I don't think this should be rated as hard compared to the average hiker. Yes, it may be hard to some who are out of shape or new to hiking, but definitely not hard in general. If you get a clear day, you will be blown away by the 360 degree view. I definitely recommend!

snowshoeing
Friday, January 05, 2018

The road getting in was covered in about 6in of snow, with one set of tracks heading to the upper trailhead through about 10in of snow. We decided to risk the upper trailhead. Getting in wasn't as bad as getting out due to the steepness of the first slope out. So be careful if you're headed here in the wintertime. Call the Forestry Service and ask them how they think the road up there will be. We started with microspikes for about 2-3mi, then when the heavy switchbacks (by the waterfall) began we transitioned to snowshoes. It was SLOW going from there, tracking new path (on route) through knee deep fluffy snow. Wasn't terribly difficult to stay on route because below the treeline the cut trees/brush are good indicators. Took us about 6hrs with only enough time at summit to eat a sandwich and hydrate the pup. Be very careful to know the weather at summit because you've got systems coming off the sound or through the Olympics that turn on a dime. Overall, the views were spectacular and made for a wonderful and secluded voyage. Highly recommend. Completed on December 27, 2017.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The last time I hiked up this trail was back in the mid 90’s. What I remember most was how far out you can see over the whole Puget Sound area. Of course only when the weather is clear, which it was that day. Otherwise you won’t see much because the altitude up there is above the clouds and when they roll in, you won’t see much. Another thing I thought was memorable is when you look to the west towards the other Olympic mountains, you’re right up there in the same altitude as they are, which is in the neighborhood of 5500 ft. It’s well worth the effort. Dress warm and bring lotsa water. I didn’t think it was that difficult a hike, but that was over 20-years ago, and unfortunately, we all change over time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This trail is challenging but is very beautiful and makes you feel accomplished. I definitely recommend it!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Amazing hike with excellent views on a clear day

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Amazing hike, did it on 10/15. Picture perfect day and might have had the best views I’ve ever seen.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

So hard. Great trail. Beautiful views. Totally worth it. Lots of flies that we had to swat. Pit toilet at the trailhead was very clean, but no toilet paper. Totally worth the drive from Seattle.

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

did this hike on 10-14-17 not much snow good work out

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Awesome hike. Awesome views.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This was a great hike I took a friend from out of town on. It's a long climb, which we did in the rain, so we were very cold at the top. Some dogs also kicked up bees and we each got multiple stings. We didn't regret going and I'd do it one more time in different weather.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

It was definitely a tough hike, but well worth the beautiful view !! Definitely recommend this hike ❤️

hiking
Monday, September 04, 2017

Hike was indeed tough, took 3.5 hours from lower trailhead to summit at reasonable pace. Path was steep, but manageable. but the real hardship was the horse flies that hounded us the whole way. Lots of swatting, became distracting. Summit really does have great views: could see Mt. Rainier, Strait of Juan de Fuca. Bugs at the top were winged ants, which swarmed every rock so stopping for lunch was tough, but at least they didn't bite. Did the hike in sneakers, no special gear required (poles would've helped on descent). 1.5 hours return trip.

Monday, August 07, 2017

amazing views at the top. it's a tough climb in the heat, bring lots of water, Especially for the dogs. at the 3mi marker you can go left to silver lake or right to keep going up Townsend. very few people - I had the peak to myself!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

it was a pleasant trail very great view up top was thinking it was going to be harder but wasnt too bad

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