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.
- Distance: 13.7
Location: 47.859001, -123.019109
Hike west from the trailhead.
Location: 47.858641, -123.022285
Pass Townsend Creek.
Location: 47.858699, -123.024902
Pass Sink Lake on your left and a shelter on your right.
Location: 47.860023, -123.053141
The switchback climb starts here.
Location: 47.857806, -123.057818
Pass Camp Windy on your left.
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.
Location: 47.860426, -123.061187
Pass the final switchback and follow the ridge north to the summit.
Location: 47.864054, -123.060565
Look behind you to see the Welch Peaks.
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.