Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Many people complete this trail as a long, out-and-back day trip, but others will prefer to arrange a car shuttle to hike only one way. Traveling from west to east is easiest with less elevation gain than east to west. If you are pressed for time, the first few miles on the Obstruction Peak end offer the primo views.
From the Obstruction Point trailhead, hike east towards Elk Mountain. Some guidebooks call this trail Elk Mountain Trail or Grand Ridge Trail, but it is truly the Obstruction Point-Deer Park Trail. Start out on level ground that becomes an ascent, eventually turning northwards. Pass the intersection with the northern end of the Badger Valley Trail
. Continue north across rocky exposed slopes, admiring the views down U-shaped Badger Valley. Spectacular fields of wildflowers adorn the hillsides. Pass the junction with the Elk Mountain Trail. The grade eases considerably until a steep, narrow descent deposits you onto a saddle at the aptly named Roaring Winds campsite.
Climb out of the saddle and pass below Maiden Peak. Continue along the crest of this scenic ridge, now beginning to descend in earnest. From here the trail becomes more wooded and gently rolls through pleasant meadows. Enter an old burn area where most of the trees have been blown down, then climb steeply up to road level. The trail ends on the west side of the Deer Park campground. Interesting factoid: this is the highest maintained trail in Olympic National Park.
Marmots, chipmunks, deer, black bear, eagles. Fir, hemlock, lily, indian paintbrush, lupine.