Mount Ellinor, Mount Ellinor Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

Mount Ellinor - 6.2 miles

Mount Ellinor Trailhead

View of Lake Cushman from the Mount Ellinor Trail

View of Lake Cushman from the Mount Ellinor Trail

Round-Trip Length: 6.2 miles (roundtrip distance from lower trailhead on summer route)
Start-End Elevation: 2,618' - 5,944'
Elevation Change: +3,326' net elevation gain (+3,390' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Mount Ellinor - 6.2 Miles Round-Trip

Mount Ellinor (5,944') is located 3.1 miles from Lower Mount Ellinor Trailhead along the Mt Skokomish Wilderness Boundary. This prominent peak offers panoramic views that reach Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and across most of the Olympic range.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Mount Ellinor Trail (#812) climbs 3,326' from the Lower Trailhead on a well-built route through impressive forests, steep rock chutes and narrow ridges to the summit. Goats are common on this trail, as are crowds through peak summer months. Arrive early to secure parking.

The upper trailhead begins at 3,500' and reaches the summit in just 1.6 miles. Note that a Northwest Forest Pass is required at the upper trailhead (but not the lower trailhead). This description begins at the lower trailhead and follows the summer route:

The trail rises steadily on a moderate grade under a tall fir-hemlock canopy. Huckleberries are particularly abundant leading to the Upper Trailhead junction (1.8 miles : 3,873'). Grades steepen considerably here on methodical, well-built switchbacks to the Summer - Route sign that points you straight (2.2 miles : 4,315').

Travel roughens on a shiftier path through the Mountain Hemlock zone to a bench with terrific views over Lake Cushman (2.45 miles : 4,660'). It clears treeline and funnels up a rocky chute on a vague but intuitive path that segues to wood steps under the south ridge (2.8 miles : 5,270). 

The steps bend west on a ramp like path to gain the south ridge, and a first look into the Olympic interior (2.9 miles : 5,475'). A final steep push curls back east through crags to the summit (3.1 miles : 5,944'). The summit is fairly small, but easy enough to maneuver for different views and a little wind protection.

Mount Washington (6,255') stands prominently across a saddle, and Mount Pershing (6,154') looms tall over Brown's Hike Lake and the Jefferson Creek drainage.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 30.402 W123 13.922 — 0.0 miles : Lower Mount Ellinor Trailhead
  • N47 30.418 W123 14.254 — .5 miles : Moderate grade in tall fir-hemlock-cedar forest
  • N47 30.381 W123 14.809 — 1.0 miles : Steady climb in tall old growth
  • N47 30.573 W123 15.278 — 1.55 miles : Sign for upper trailhead access
  • N47 30.692 W123 15.158 — 1.8 miles : Upper Trailhead access split
  • N47 30.848 W123 15.406 — 2.2 miles : Summer - Winter route split
  • N47 31.062 W123 15.507 — 2.45 miles : Reach base of rock chute
  • N47 31.179 W123 15.520 — 2.8 miles : Begin steep steps to ridge
  • N47 31.193 W123 15.644 — 2.9 miles : Gain ridge at top of steps
  • N47 31.297 W123 15.642 — 3.1 miles : Mount Ellinor summit (5,944')

Worth Noting

  • Habituated mountain goats are common on this trail. Enjoy wildlife from a safe, respectful distance, and allow goats plenty of room to pass.
  • A Northwest Foresat Pass is required to park at the upper trailhead ($5), but not the lower trailhead.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Dispersed camping is permitted within the Mt Skokomish Wilderness Area. Self-registration is available at the trailhead. It's always advisable to call the Hood Canal Ranger Station (360.765.2200) before your trip for current conditions and information.

  • Campfires are not permitted above 3,500'.
  • Camp in established campsites whenever possible to minimize impact.

Rules and Regulations

A valid Recreation Pass is not required to access the Lower Mount Ellinor Trailhead. A pass is required to access the Upper Mount Ellinor Trailhead ($5 day use fee | overnight use requires payment for two days).

The following is not permitted:

  • Groups consisting of more than 12 persons and/or 8 head of livestock.
  • Starting and/or maintaining open fires, such as camp, cooking and warming fires above 3,500'.
  • Gathering wood for starting and/or maintaining open fires or stoves above 3,500'.
  • Tethering of livestock to trees and/or other vegetation, except for incidental use not to exceed 30 minutes.
  • Possessing and/or transporting unprocessed vegetative matter such as hay, straw, grass or grain. The use of pelletized or certified weed-free feed is required in all National Forests in the Pacific Northwest. This helps prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants.
  • Caching or leaving equipment, personal property or supplies unattended for a period in excess of 24 hours.
  • Possessing or using any form of wheeled vehicle for the purpose of transportation of such things as people, equipment, personal property, supplies and game.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat, motorized equipment, hang glider or bicycle.

Directions to Trailhead

The Lower Mount Ellinor Trailhead is located 15.2 miles from Highway 101 in Hoodsport.

From Hoodsport, turn west on SR 119 and drive 9.1 miles to the FS #24 split. Turn right on FS #24 for 1.5 miles to the sign for Mount Ellinor - FS #2419.

Turn left on FS #2419 and drive 4.6 miles to the Lower Trailhead lot, located on the right side of the road. The trail begins just uphill and across the street from this small pull-out lot. Parking is limited. The road continues 1.7 miles to the larger Upper Trailhead lot.

FS #24 and 2419 are graded dirt roads suitable for 2WD cars in good condition. Watch for large potholes, and drive slow on steep, narrow and winding sections.

Contact Information

Hood Canal Ranger District | Quilcene Office
295142 Highway 101 S.
PO Box 280
Quilcene, WA 98376

Olympic National Forest
Supervisor's Office
1835 Black Lk Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98512

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