Mount Muller Trail, Mount Muller Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Mount Muller Trail - 12.0 miles
Mount Muller Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||12.0 miles (10.3 miles if done as out-and-back to Muller Summit)|
|Start-End Elevation:||1025' - 1025' (3,748' Max Elevation at Mt Muller Summit)|
|Elevation Change:||+2,723' net elevation change (+3,484' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Mount Muller Trail - 12.0 Miles Round-Trip
The Mount Muller Trail is located within the Olympic National Forest between the towns of Forks and Port Angeles, WA. This is a popular multi-use trail open to equestrians, bikers, hikers and dogs.
The Mount Muller summit can be accessed via a 10.3 mile round trip out-and-back hike, or a slightly longer 12.0 mile loop described below. This challenging loop offers sweeping views across Mt Olympus and the Olympic Mountains, Lake Crescent, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island, Canada.
The following describes the recommended clockwise route for the Mount Muller Loop:
From the trailhead, take the trail to the left of the trailhead sign toward Littleton Creek. It follows the creek north for several hundred yards before breaking west and intersecting with Miner's Crossing (.60 miles : 1,365') - marking the initial major ascent to Mount Muller.
The trail switchbacks up over 700' in one mile (1.0 miles : 1,755') and 1500' in two miles (2.0 miles : 2,575') to Nosebag Point (2.5 miles : 2,885') and first break in the canopy.
Sporadic breaks over the next half mile offer decent views of Mount Olympus, Snow Dome and Blue Glacier before reaching Jim's Junction (3.0 miles : 3,250').
The trail now undulates down along the south-facing ridge line through Milsap Meadows (3.2 miles : 3,380') providing the first unobstructed views of Mt Olympus, Appleton Mountain, Aurora Ridge and the Sol Duc Valley.
After descending to Thomas Gap (4.0 miles : 3,065') the trail slices through a series of alpine meadows (Jasmine, Allison and Markham Meadows) where impressive Olympic Range views continue to get better.
The trail reaches the Mount Muller spur trail (5.0 miles : 3,680') - a brief .15 mile path which leads to the enclosed, heavily forested summit of Mount Muller (5.15 miles : 3,748').
Views just beneath the summit are spectacular. Notables include Mount Olympus, Appleton Mountain, Aurora Ridge as well as the entire Sol Duc Valley and the northwest corner of Olympic National Park.
Those not continuing on the loop can walk down the trail a large rock outcrop called Panorama Point which offers clear views of Lake Crescent, Mount Storm King and even Mount Baker to the east.
Those continuing on the loop trail will drop back down the summit spur split and continue east on the Mount Muller Trail.
The trail now leads along the south face of Mount Muller passing Panorama Point with sweeping views of Lake Crescent, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island in the distance.
After undulating briefly along the ridge line, the trail bends to the north face of Mount Muller and begins a steady descent (6.0 miles : 3,290') passing Cahill's Overlook (6.5 miles : 3,045) before switch backing down to Mosley Gap (6.75 miles : 2,800').
Now on a steady descent, views give way to an enclosed Douglas fir forest (7.5 miles : 2,315') as the trail drops to a geological wonder in Fouts Rock House (8.0 miles : 1,780'). An available spur trail meanders through this steep hillside strewn with van sized boulders covered in moss and lichen.
The trail slowly levels out and makes a deliberate bend west, crossing Hatch Creek (9.0 miles : 1,150') as it turns into a wide fire road (part of the Olympic Discovery Trail) for .25 miles before exiting back onto the trail (9.25 miles : 1,030').
Now back on the trail, the well maintained path becomes level and heads west through scenic Crow Caw Flats, passing Bog Creek along the way before crossing a major Forest Service road (9.7 miles : 951').
The trail continues past the Forest Service road running through a beautiful landscape of vine maple and red alder trees, stitched together with hanging moss and a dense fern-based understory (10.0 miles : 984').
For the next two miles, the landscape remains unchanged as the trail gently rolls through Mistletoe Lane (11.3 miles : 995') on its way back to the the Mount Muller Trailhead (12.0 miles : 1,025').
- N48 04.565 W124 00.794 — 0.0 miles: Mount Muller Trailhead
- N48 04.867 W124 01.086 — 0.6 miles: Miners Crossing - Stay Straight
- N48 04.950 W124 00.905 — 1.0 miles: Stead ascent through young Douglas fir forest
- N48 05.388 W124 01.223 — 2.0 miles: Steep switchbacks - have now gained 1500'
- N48 05.455 W124 01.143 — 2.5 miles: Nosebag Point
- N48 05.616 W124 01.337 — 3.0 miles: Jim's Junction 3,250' - Kloshe Nanitch split
- N48 05.647 W124 00.968 — 3.2 miles: Milsap Meadows - Views of Mt Olympus
- N48 05.663 W124 00.061 — 4.0 miles: Thomas Gap (3,065') start final ascent to Mt Muller
- N48 05.365 W123 58.811 — 5.0 miles: Split to Mt Muller Summit
- N48 05.405 W123 58.796 — 5.15 miles: Mount Muller Summit - 3,748'
- N48 05.509 W123 57.800 — 6.0 miles: Undulating down on back side of loop
- N48 05.493 W123 57.277 — 6.5 miles: Cahill's Overlook - on steady descent
- N48 05.465 W123 57.101 — 6.75 miles: Mosley Gap 2,800'
- N48 05.289 W123 57.069 — 7.5 miles: Steady descent
- N48 05.117 W123 57.238 — 8.0 miles: Fouts Rock House 1,780'
- N48 04.759 W123 57.860 — 9.0 miles: Cross Hutch Creek - trail bends west on logging road
- N48 04.546 W123 58.154 — 9.25 miles: Exit right off logging road - Crow Caw Flats
- N48 04.523 W123 58.671 — 9.7 miles: Cross forest service road - continue on trail
- N48 04.565 W123 59.062 — 10.0 miles: Level trail through Vine Maple and Red Alder stands
- N48 04.545 W124 00.150 — 11.3 miles: Mistletoe Lane 973' - level back to trailhead
- The Mount Muller Trail is located within the Olympic National Forest and not Olympic National Park - therefore, NPS rules do not apply and National Forest rules do apply.
- Mount Muller can be traversed as a loop trail - however, the 10.3 mile out and back is recommended for those seeking to escape the noise of Highway 101 along the final 3 miles.
- While the summit of Mount Muller is enclosed in trees, the area just beneath the summit is an excellent place for views of Mt Olympus, Sol Duc Valley and the Olympic Mountain Range.
- Steep, dangerous snow fields linger on the back (north) side of the loop thorugh May making it difficult to hike and navigate - another good reason to skip the loop early in the season and hike the out-and-back to Mount Muller.
- This is a multi-use trail with horses, bikes, pets and hikers all sharing the trail. Please abide by general courtesy rules.
- The trail gains 2200' in the first 3 miles - making for an arduous ascent. Be prepared with adequate food, water and clothing.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Camping is permitted in the Mount Muller Area.
Littleton Horse Camp
Equestrians can use Littleton Horse Camp near the Mount Muller Trailhead. The area has 10 dispersed horse friendly camping sites available and facilities include Vault Toilets, Fire Grills, Two Corrals and Picnic Tables.
Walk in sites are available year round and on a 1st come 1st served basis. The parking spur sites are reserved for stock / horse users until 6pm each day.
While fishing is permitted on National Forest land, there is no quality or worthwhile fishing at Mount Muller. Those seeking to fish are encouraged to go to Lake Crescent, Sol Duc and Dungeness Rivers as regulations and seasons permit.
Rules and Regulations
- A valid recreation pass is required at the Mount Muller Trailhead. Fees are collected at the trailhead in a self-service manner (generally $5 per vehicle).
- Please abide by all National Forest regulations as the Mount Muller Trail rests in the Olympic National Forest, not the National Park.
- Dogs are allowed and while no leash is required, dogs must be kept under voice control.
Directions to Trailhead
The Mount Muller Trailhead is location between Port Angeles, WA and Forks, WA on the north side of Highway 101.
From Port Angeles: Take Highway 101 West for approx. 31 miles to Forest Service Road 3071 (near Mile Marker 216) and turn north. Drive 1/4 mile to the well marked Mount Muller Trailhead. The trail begins to the left of the Trailhead sign along Littleton Creek.
Olympic National Forest - Supervisor's Office