Mount Townsend is a classic Olympic hike. The 6280′ summit is reached via an 8.2 mile roundtrip hike, climbing 2900′ in elevation from the upper trailhead. It’s a challenging 20% ascent, but the trail is well maintained and the view payoffs are (usually!) sizable! You’re likely to encounter many fellow hikers in the summer and the trailhead parking lot may be full. July is best for wildflowers, I am told, but we saw quite a few still in bloom on Labor Day. Enjoy!
We’re there! A great achievement for young boys. On a clear day, you can see for miles. Today, we enjoyed sights much closer at hand, which were equally interesting.
About .2 mi from the 6280′ summit – and still not above the clouds!
This guy has a great view every day! Today he’s watching the clouds hustle over the summit saddle.
Paintbrush still in bloom!
Need I say more? Enjoy!!!!
A glimpse of Mt. Rainier! It was clouded over much of the day but stayed out for us!
Late glacial melt caused a lot of wet spots on the trail. Wear stuff that can handle it. We ran out the door thinking only of wildflowers so one of us did not quite have the best shoes on!
Many wildflowers out…peak right now!
Plenty of glacier views on Skyline Trail (6.5 miles total, 1600 ft elevation if you do the High Skyline Route to Panorama Point).
Ok – lots of wildflower pictures for you!
They are stunning.
I think this is my favorite, though.
You can get a wildflower brochure at the Tourist Center. Be prepared for craziness trying to park.
Aster! This flower blooms when it is about peak.
The Tatoosh Range in the distance.
From Kalaloch Lodge we drove north for about 45 minutes to Rialto Beach to time our beach walk with the tides so we could reach Hole-in-the-Wall. It’s 2 miles each way, so you have to leave AT LEAST 45 min to walk the beach up to Hole-in-the-Wall and get there by low tide so you can walk out into the “hole.” We ran into some folks who said the ocean was too wild the previous day to even walk up at low tide. And that’s in the summer! The Pacific NW coast is really something. So be prepared to change plans…
That said…we had a great time despite being in winter gear for the most part. It was a refreshing change!
Some stone skipping at Kalaloch!
Dense fog on the walk up to Hole-in-the-Wall (Rialto Beach).
We made it! You have to time the tides just right to hit it at low tide.
This turns out to most likely be a fossil fir or pine cone. Pretty exciting! I asked around at the Burke Museum in Seattle and the nice folks there provided their best educated guess. Cool!
We hiked this on Sunday Aug 3 and the wildflowers were about peak, I think? There were not all that many, and they looked dry and tired to me, but I am no master gardener. Rainier’s wildflowers are in peak right now (8/18) so perhaps Hurricane is having a delayed peak? In any case – we had a great time hiking around enroute to Kalaloch! Went from bright sun and warmth to a dense, cold fog at Kalaloch. Strange microclimate! But it was a refreshing cool
Hurricane Ridge hiking.
Great trail along the ridge leading north from the visitor center.
Some wildflowers blooming!
A bit narrow on a steep slow – can give vertigo to some folks.
Great snack spot!