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Mt. Townsend Trail #839



5.7 mile 9.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,389' 1,033 m
Descent: -936' -285 m
High: 6,214' 1,894 m
Low: 2,846' 867 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)


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Trail shared by Corinne Srsen

Mt Townsend gives you a little bit of everything; beautiful views, nature, elevation gains, and personal challenge.

Corinne Srsen

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers

A NW Forest Pass is required.


Mount Townsend Trail #839 has several starting points: Upper and Lower Mt.Townsend Trailheads and Silver Lakes Trail, but the recommended route is from the Upper Trailhead, unless you're looking to hike an extra mile or more from the Lower Trailhead.

The well-travelled trail starts out looking like most northwest trails, switching back and forth through old growth hemlock and firs, rhododendrons and mossy goodness. This is a great distraction as you gain elevation and begin to feel the burn. At about the mile mark, youll begin to leave the forest, and the sky will open up to views of the area canyons and the tops of the trees.

Youll continue to switch back and forth, in and out of the forest for about 2.5 miles, until you reach Camp Handy. This is a great place to take a quick break and snap some pictures of the small unassuming lake. After your break, youll continue another 2.5 miles up, up, up, taking in views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, until you finally reach the vista of open meadows and the open trail to the summit.

Before committing to the summit, stop on the rock ledges surrounding the meadows for a 360-degree view of all of the mountain and water ranges your eye can see. At this point, you say how can it get any better? Well it can. The summit is only a short mile from the meadows and worth the extra bit of energy you have. Best of all, you can stop at the top with your fellow hikers have lunch or a snack.

From the summit, the trail continues on a gradual descent to its junction with Little Quilcene Trail. If you are looking for a day hike, an out and back along this trail to the summit of Mount Townsend is a great route.

Flora & Fauna

Old growth hemlock and fir. Rhododendrons and wildflowers in June/July.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know


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Sep 2, 2019
Bryse Paffile
Jun 8, 2019
2.5 up 1.5 down 8.4mi
May 11, 2019
Mike Shields
Oct 1, 2018
Krista Vogel
It took us approximately 2 1/2 hours up and 1 hr. 15 minutes down. We were booking it since it started raining on our way back! 8.2mi
Jul 4, 2018
Samuel Peckham
Jun 19, 2018
Tip S
out and back. 10.7mi
Nov 10, 2017
Tim D
Oct 31, 2017
Virginia Gulett

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 13 votes


  4.7 from 13 votes
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