Mount Storm King 2,106ft elevation 4.1mi Olympic National Park

Mount Storm King 2,106ft elevation 4.1mi Olympic National Park

Nestled within the beautiful wilderness of Olympic National Park, Mount Storm King stands as a beacon for adventurers seeking a thrilling and challenging hiking experience. With its stunning views of Lake Crescent and the surrounding lush forests, this iconic peak has a lot to offer. 

The trailhead for Mount Storm King is located near Lake Crescent, approximately 20 miles west of Port Angeles, WA. Accessible via Highway 101, the trailhead offers ample parking and restroom facilities, making it a convenient starting point that's easy to access.

As you get on the trail, you are immediately greeted by towering old-growth trees. The initial stretch of the hike is relatively moderate, with well-maintained paths guiding you through the forrest. However, as you reach the true beginning of this hike; the Junction to Marymere Falls and Barnes Creek Trail the ascent steepens quickly, the true challenge of Mount Storm King begins to reveal itself.

Navigating switchbacks and rocky terrain, you must summon your strength and determination to overcome the elevation gain. The trail ascends approximately 2,100 feet over a distance of just under two miles! Yet, with each step forward, the promise of breathtaking vistas spurs you onward, fueling your determination!

Upon reaching the first open viewpoint of Mount Storm King you discover a towering view above Lake Crescent. The view stretch as far as the eye can see, offering a look over forests, sapphire waters, and distant mountain peaks. It's a moment of triumph and awe, take a moment to bask in the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula from this lofty vantage point. 

Standing over a view of Lake Crescent

You aren't quite to the top yet, there's more steep and rocky terrain to go. Under the shade cover of the trees you may even encounter some tricky ice, as I did in early April (2023). 

Ice and snow dusting over a trail

Tips for this hike:

- Start Early: To avoid crowds and make the most of your experience, consider starting your hike early in the day. The parking lot was empty when I arrived but full when I left!

- Pack Essentials: Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and essential gear such as sturdy hiking boots, micro spikes to handle the ice, and layers to strip once you start sweating on those switchbacks. 

- Respect Nature: Leave no trace and adhere to park regulations to help preserve the beauty of Olympic National Park for future hikers.

Once you reach the "End of Maintained Trail" sign you have reached your next open viewpoint. From here you see yourself towering over more vast forrest. 

A wooden sign nailed to a tree reading "end of trail"  Standing with my back to the camera looking out at the vast view of evergreen trees.

The trail turns into a ridge from here that is rocky and really narrow requiring a scramble, this is referred to as the roped section of the trail. This section includes a steep drop off, one that if you slipped looks pretty daunting. I chose not to continue past this point as a solo hiker.   

In conclusion, hiking Mount Storm King is a truly unforgettable experience that felt rewarding with breathtaking views (my favorite being the first viewpoint over Lake Crescent!) and a sense of accomplishment. 

-Blaine Ford


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