Mount Townsend Trail

HARD 123 reviews
#12 of 180 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.

DISTANCE
11.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4035 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

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.

hiking
3 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
4 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.

5 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.

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

Amazing hike with excellent views on a clear day

6 months ago

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

6 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
7 months ago

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

7 months ago

Awesome hike. Awesome views.

hiking
7 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.

8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

hard but worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

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
11 months ago

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

11 months ago

Loved it!!! Never hiked through snow before which was tough but the view was one of the best I've ever seen!

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Well traveled and simple to follow all the way to summit.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hiked it in November of 2016, easy to drive to and no snow or ice to worry about. The hike itself was a lot of fun! It is definitely hard and will have you sweating but the views at the top are well worth it! Also it was very cold and windy at the top so layer your clothing to take off on the way up and put back on once you're up there.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Went with 3 friends on a clear morning. Beautiful woods on the way up with a couple spots with good views at clearings. The peak was breathtaking. Mountains to one side and the canal on the other. Awesome view of Mt. Rainer on a clear day!

hiking
Monday, September 19, 2016

Excellent foliage, views, trail adventure, and solitude leading to the spacious summit with terrific views all around.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

Great hike

backpacking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Absolutely amazing. would highly recommend camping out and watching the sun rise- absolutely breathtaking!

backpacking
Friday, August 05, 2016

Well maintained trail. This was a difficult trail for me as it goes up and up and up. The first 1.5 were tough then you hit the switch backs which were a bit easier. The horse flies were ridiculous. I got bit half a dozen times. Views were incredible and well worth the trudge up the mountain.

hiking
Friday, August 05, 2016

Mount Townsend was absolutely breathtaking! We climbed through the clouds the majority of the hole, but when we reached the ridge and peaked through them, the views were absolutely breathtaking. I hiked with my best friend, and neither of us are expert or seasoned hikers. It took us about three hours to go up and an hour down. We hung out at the summit for two hours and the clouds cleared for the most part. I would love to hike this trail again!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fabulous trail with amazing views. Has about the same average elevation gain per mile as Mt. Si until you reach the ridge at about 3.5 miles.

Load More