Dow Mountain by Lake Cushman in Olympic Mountains / 道山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

One of my goals for 2019 was to explore more of the Olympic Peninsula. So far this season, we’ve been to the peninsula five times. And that accounted for half of our trips since 2010. We didn’t have much luck with the views last week. And I didn’t think we’d see much today since Dow Mountain is short in stature.

Dow Mountain above the logging debris
Dow Mountain above the logging debris

See more trip photos here.

Dow Mountain at a Glance

Access: Prices Lake Road
Round Trip: 4.1 miles
Elevation Range: 940′-2514′
Gear: none
GPS track: available

Dog-Friendly: on the road

Dow Mountain Road

We arrived at Dow Mountain Road in the early morning. The “Lake Cushman Maintenance Company Members Only” sign didn’t look inviting. Even with the handful of climbers’ entries, the signage made it look otherwise. As we were leaving the residential area, the opening scene from the movie “Get Out” was playing in my head

I had no backup plans. I also didn’t feel like going to places we had visited in the last few years. Then I came across a report suggesting going up via Prices Lake Road. The map also showed that north of Dow Mountain was state property. So I decided to try entering from there instead.

A cloudy start
A cloudy start

See more trip photos here.

Approaching via Logging Debris

We drove past the first junction on Prices Lake Road. Then at the next fork, I made a right onto an unmarked logging road. It looked like logging had ended long ago. But the roadway was still in great shape. We then drove to the road’s end through two long switchbacks. The vegetation was still damp from yesterday’s rain.

After leaving the car, we scrambled southbound through a massive amount of logging debris. So it took a while to get up to the service road above 1600′. There were sights of Lake Cushman and Price Lake en route. I was glad to have come this way despite the annoying down trees. A much longer road walk would’ve been the other option.

A little bit of Price Lake
A little bit of Price Lake

See more trip photos here.

Navigating Through Logging Roads

The spur logging roads were a dime a dozen. The main road couldn’t get us up to the east shoulder. So we picked the type 2 route and went southeast on down debris-infested slopes. It was more annoying for the pup than it was for me. Soon, we came upon a road on the ridgetop. But then it ended abruptly by the drop-off.

Ugh! The ridgeline wasn’t continuous. And none of the side roads were on the map. But then I saw a roadway down by the Sund Creek drainage. Seconds later, I noticed another one above my eye level. And it was going toward Dow Mountain summit. But to get there, we first needed to make it down to the saddle through more debris.

Entering the forest
Entering the forest

See more trip photos here.

Moving Southwest on the Ridge

The road by the dry creekbed wrapped around the ridgeline. So we followed it to the west of the ridge. But it didn’t take long to realize that the roadway would end in less than one-eighth of a mile. So we turned around and went back to the pass.

Walking the road to the south of the mountain meant that we would be descending. So we didn’t go that way either. Instead, from the saddle, we scrambled uphill alongside a quarry and reached the upper roadway. Then we followed it up almost to the end. From there, we quickly located a defined trail and entered the forest.

Mount Washington
Mount Washington

See more trip photos here.

Dow Mountain Summit Plus Outro

Just past the 2400′ elevation, the trail intersected an old roadbed. Then we moved through the brushy roadway and arrived at the top in 1000′. As expected, it was a forested summit. Smack in the middle was a clearing surrounded by trees on all sides. We stayed long enough to change out wet layers and took some photos.

On the way back, I decided not to go through the minor ridgetop again. So at the saddle, we scrambled down to the main road shown on the map. Then we walked a quarter of a mile back to where we intersected the roadway earlier. Going down 600′ through the rubble wasn’t as painful. Soon, we were back at the car by the road’s end.

A little bit of Puget Sound
A little bit of Puget Sound

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

account android arrow-alt-circle-down arrow-alt-circle-left arrow-alt-circle-right arrow-alt-circle-up arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up author bars behance blogger buffer caret-down caret-left caret-right caret-square-down caret-square-left caret-square-right caret-square-up caret-up cart-menu-1 cart-menu-2 cart-menu-3 cart-menu-4 categories chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up clock close comments cookies copyright coupon-discount date-modified date-published discord double-arrows-down double-arrows-left double-arrows-right double-arrows-up dribbble envelope-open envelope eye facebook fax flickr foursquare github gmail google-drive grid-view hashtag hollow-ring homepage instagram ios level-down-alt level-up-alt line link linkedin list-view login logout long-arrow-alt-down long-arrow-alt-left long-arrow-alt-right long-arrow-alt-up medium messenger mobile-menu mobile phone pinterest place qq quote-left quote-right quotes reading-time-hourglass reading-time-stopwatch reddit rss scroll-to-top search shazam shopping-bag shopping-cart side-panel-opening-2-left side-panel-opening-2-right side-panel-opening-left side-panel-opening-right skype slack small-arrow-down small-arrow-left small-arrow-right small-arrow-up sms snapchat soundcloud spinner spotify stackoverflow sync telegram tiktok times-circle tinder trello tripadvisor tumblr twitch twitter viber vimeo vine vkontakte website wechat whatsapp windows wishlist xing yelp youtube zoom