“Climb through evergreen forest and wildflower meadows to reach great views of Lake Cushman and the Puget Sound.”
— Noah Crowe
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Beware of avalanche risk during winter and spring ascents. A valid Recreation Pass is required for day use at upper trailhead, but is not needed at the lower one.
Need to Know
Vault toilet at Upper Trailhead. A valid Recreation Pass is required for day use at upper trailhead, none needed at lower.
The lower section of the trail ascends through the forest for the first mile, becoming steeper and increasingly rough. At the tree line, some 2.5 miles from the lower trailhead, the trail intersects the winter climbing route to the right and the summer trail route to the left. This is a good turnaround point for inexperienced hikers. Expect nice views of Hood Canal, Lake Cushman, and the Cascades from the rock outcrops near the base of the chute.
Summer Route to Summit: Beyond the aforementioned viewpoint, the Summer Route climbs along switchbacks to the south ridge of Mt. Ellinor. It then follows along the ridge to the summit at 5,944' elevation. Please use the Summer Route during the snow-free months to prevent damaging the sensitive vegetation along the Winter Route. Always wear good boots, carry the ten essentials, and lots of water.
Winter Route to Summit: Use extra caution when climbing the chute, especially when there is moisture in the air (clouds and fog) as the rocks will become extremely slippery. Check on the avalanche conditions before beginning the climb. An ice axe, boots, and the ten essentials are necessary. Conditions can change very rapidly and the chute can be hazardous even in good weather.
Flora & Fauna
Mountain goats are often perched on the top of Mount Ellinor.