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Mount Townsend Trail

HARD 159 reviews
#3 of 29 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

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

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 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!

3 months ago

Beautiful and perfect

hiking
3 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
3 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
3 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
7 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
8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

Amazing hike with excellent views on a clear day

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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
11 months ago

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

11 months ago

Awesome hike. Awesome views.

hiking
11 months ago

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

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fantastic views, beautiful wildflowers in full bloom and perfect weather. Beware of bugs; Giant horseflies followed me all the up and down, constantly buzzing in my ears, making the experience a little harder to enjoy, but it's a really nice hike nonetheless. Also get there early (before 0830) to secure a spot at the upper trailhead (parking is NOT ample, maybe 20 cars can fit).

hiking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tough hike but once you get to the top, you forgot how challenging it was since the views are breathtaking. Definitely recommend a morning hike to avoid the congestion of the small parking lot.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great hike, tons of great views. Wild flowers throughout much of the hike. Decent elevation incline for much of the hike, be prepared to get tired! Well worth it once you get to the top. Parking is limited also.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

hard but worth it!

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Went up the Saturday before Father's Day, it was a pretty foggy day. Got to the trailhead around 10AM and the lot was full with cars already starting to park along the sides outside of the lot. We took it pretty easy on our way up & it took us about 5hrs roundtrip. By the time we got to the summit there were quite a bit of people continuing up the hill & already on the summit...lucked out and had enough of a window to catch some views before the rain rolled in. Still snow along the trail, but not on it; made the dog happy. :)

Would like to go back on a clear day and take advantage of the full views from the summit that were covered in clouds. Trail was pretty heavily populated, definitely a good idea to get to the trailhead early.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Beautiful hike. Wildflowers and view from the summit are a highlight.

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