Mount Walker Walkers Galore / 沃克山步行者多如牛毛

South summit panoramic view
South summit panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

The pup and I woke up early this morning feeling exhausted from yesterday’s outing. After staring at each other for a while, we both fell right back to sleep. We then awoke to the late morning sunshine several hours later and quickly rolled out of bed. I started looking for a short hike so as not to feel guilty about wasting the beautiful day.

The last time we were on the Olympic Peninsula was on our hike to Mount Rose in November of 2015. After a two-hour drive, meanwhile missing the exit to Quilcene twice, we finally got to the mountain. The closed gate on NF-2730 forced most cars to park alongside Highway 101. It took less a half mile road walk to reach the summer trailhead.

The Lowdown on Mount Walker

Access: Mount Walker Trailhead
Round Trip: 5.5 miles
Elevation Range:
760′-2804′
Gear: microspikes
GPS Track: available

The Trail

A few hikers on their way down mentioned snow and ice higher up on the trail. I wasn’t too surprised to hear given that we’ve had a few snowstorms this year and technically it’s still winter. After passing the halfway mark, we finally came up to the snow line with ice over the trail.

Due to lack of traction, some people had a hard time getting down a steep section at the snow line. I put on microspikes and continued hiking through several switchbacks. Hiking in a popular destination meant that it was hard not to stop and talk to the others. There were practically no views on this trail.

See more trip photos here.

Two Summits

We made a quick stop on the north summit and then continued onto the south peak. Most hikers made the northern high point their final stop, but the southern spot was sunnier and quieter. Those who came to this side came to admire views of the three volcanoes through the 90-degree opening.

After soaking in enough scenery of south Puget Sound, we returned to the north summit for a different perspective. This 90-degree viewpoint featured mostly the eastern Olympic Mountains, a stark contrast to the water side. The tip of the 7000′-plus mountains like Mount Constance, Warrior Peak, and Buckhorn Mountain was visible through clouds. Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan were off in the far northeast.

See more trip photos here.

The Descent

We met two hikers and their chocolate lab on the north summit. After a brief chat, they quickly went out of sight as they continued to time themselves on a conditioner hike. The two-mile descent went by in the blink of an eye since we didn’t need to stop for views. Only two other cars left by the gate upon our return in the early evening.

North summit panoramic view
North summit panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

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