Port Angeles, WA: Mount Townsend via Mount Townsend Trail (No. 839)

Soak up five-star views of the snow-capped Cascades and Seattle's skyline from a 6,280-foot summit on this 8.5-miler in Olympic National Forest.
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Soak up five-star views of the snow-capped Cascades and Seattle's skyline from a 6,280-foot summit on this 8.5-miler in Olympic National Forest.

This 8.5-miler tops out on a 6,280-foot perch with postcard-worthy views of Seattle’s skyline and the snow-capped Cascades. From the trailhead, ascend 3,420 feet through old-growth forest and two dozen switchbacks that zigzag up Townsend’s southeast slopes.

After traversing the summit ridge, climb a short side trail that leads to the high point. Enjoy views of Seattle, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Rainier to the east, and Royal Basin (with the highest concentration of the Olympic Mountains' 7,000-foot peaks) to the west.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.7

Waypoints

TOW001

Location: 47.859001, -123.019109

Hike west from the trailhead.

TOW002

Location: 47.858641, -123.022285

Pass Townsend Creek.

TOW003

Location: 47.858699, -123.024902

Pass Sink Lake on your left and a shelter on your right.

TOW004

Location: 47.860023, -123.053141

The switchback climb starts here.

TOW005

Location: 47.857806, -123.057818

Pass Camp Windy on your left.

TOW006

Location: 47.859332, -123.058462

Continue straight on the trail to reach the summit of Mt. Townsend. Side trip: Go left at the fork to visit Silver Lake.

TOW007

Location: 47.860426, -123.061187

Pass the final switchback and follow the ridge north to the summit.

TOW009

Location: 47.864054, -123.060565

Look behind you to see the Welch Peaks.

TOW010

Location: 47.867523, -123.059556

Mt. Townsend's summit showcases views of Seattle’s skyline, Mt. Rainier, and Royal Basin (flanked by Olympic’s highest
concentration of 7,000-foot peaks). Retrace your route to the trailhead.