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


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Map Key

5.7

Miles

9.2

KM

Point to Point

6,214' 1,894 m

High

2,846' 867 m

Low

3,389' 1,033 m

Up

936' 285 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers

Road to trailhead is not maintained in winter. Upper and Lower Mt Townsend trailheads are no fee required.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Corinne Srsen with improvements by Maura Treaccar

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 18 votes

#233

Overall
  4.8 from 18 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
11%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#15

in Washington

#233

Overall
12 Views Last Month
7,041 Since Mar 5, 2015
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
13%
20%
67%
0%

Photos

Trail to the summit.
Jan 3, 2016 near Quilcene, WA
Elizabeth on Olympic National Forest Mount Townsend ridge.
Dec 30, 2015 near Quilcene, WA
Such great views!
Dec 30, 2015 near Quilcene, WA
Rounding a corner.
Dec 30, 2015 near Quilcene, WA
Fog near the summit of Mount Townsend.
Dec 30, 2015 near Quilcene, WA
Olympic National Forest Mount Townsend Trail.
Dec 30, 2015 near Quilcene, WA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 16 days ago
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Check-Ins

Dec 30, 2023
Emily Ann
Apr 30, 2021
Rae Kala
Jun 27, 2020
Tanya Joblonski
Beautiful 8.8mi — 6h 51m
Sep 2, 2019
Bryse Paffile
Jun 8, 2019
E M
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
13.5mi

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