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National Parks: Olympic

On a climb from the Hoh River's silty riffles to high-country glacier views, pass through a moss-hung rainforest that might be the lushest place in America.


[BEST PANORAMA]

MT. ELLINOR
Get views spanning Olympus to Rainier from a 5,944-foot summit.

Score a climber’s vista (high and solitary) on a hiker’s route (safe and accessible). Ellinor straddles the boundary of the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness, just off the national park’s southeast corner. Ascend via a moderate round-trip of 5.6 miles with 3,100 feet of vertical. From the summit, gaze at most of the snowy Olympic Range spread before you. Hood Canal and Puget Sound lie a bit farther to the east, and the Cascades, including Rainier and St. Helens, dominate the horizon. The Olympic skyline visible from Ellinor’s summit is most impressive in early summer, when snow lingers on the peaks.         

Mt. Ellinor Trail 812 ascends a ridge of fir and hemlock to Chute Flats at 4,500 feet, a meadow of Indian paintbrush, lupine, heather, and beargrass (July). From there, the trail arrows up one side of The Chute, a snow climb in spring and early summer—when it’s also a fun, fast, 1,000-foot glissade on the descent (for anyone skilled with an ice axe).

The way From US 101 in Hoodsport, turn west on WA 119 and go nine miles to a right on FR 24. Drive 1.6 miles to a left on FR 2419. Reach Mt. Ellinor trailhead in 4.6 miles.

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