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Switchback Trail

Difficult
 4.3 (7)

This is an exposed, no nonsense grunt up to the spectacular Klahhane Ridge.


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Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.4

KM

Point to Point

5,867' 1,788 m

High

4,446' 1,355 m

Low

1,421' 433 m

Up

13' 4 m

Down

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

There are several ways to reach Klahhane Ridge, but the Switchback Trail is the shortest and most efficient. It is very steep and without much shade, so be prepared. This challenging climb begins its ascent immediately from the Switchback trailhead parking lot off Hurricane Ridge Road. Initially, the trail passes through dense dark conifer forests and crosses several streams. To stay on the Switchback Trail, keep right at the intersection with the Mount Angeles Trail. Shade provided by tree cover decreases the higher you go.

Continue to navigate the steep switchbacks, climbing the southern flank of Mount Angeles towards Klahhane Ridge. Admire the mountain's striped layers of sedimentary rock made from lava. The trail hugs the base of improbably colored basalt towers. The Switchback Trail ends upon reaching the junction of Heather Park Trail and the Klahhane Ridge Trail. From here you'll already be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the Olympic Peninsula in all directions.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain lion, black bear, bobcat, [sometimes aggressive] mountain goat, marmot, deer.

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 7 votes

#7220

Overall
  4.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
29%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#324

in Washington

#7,220

Overall
14 Views Last Month
2,520 Since Mar 19, 2015
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Photos

Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) on Olympic National Park Switchback Trail
Mar 24, 2015 near Port An…, WA
Helpful sign!
May 3, 2015 near Port An…, WA
Descending from Klahhane Ridge via the Switchback Trail.
Sep 9, 2019 near Port An…, WA
One of several deer found on the trail Saturday afternoon.
Oct 9, 2017 near Port An…, WA
Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) on Switchback Trail to Klahhane Ridge
Mar 24, 2015 near Port An…, WA
The road as it winds down the hill.
May 10, 2018 near Port An…, WA

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Check-Ins

Oct 14, 2019
Samo Beroe
1mi — 13h 30m
Aug 17, 2019
Alicia Zag
Pretty wildflowers, lots of mist at the top. No goats 3.8mi — 1h 45m
Sep 2, 2018
Pradyumna Agrawal
Jul 6, 2018
Michal Zawirski
Aug 18, 2017
Chris W
Aug 16, 2017
Samantha Orley
Jun 12, 2017
Holly Hatton
2.1mi
Jul 20, 2016
Sandy Knudsen
2mi — 2h 30m