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Mount Washington

based on 856 tracks & routes #8 hike out of 988 in
7.9 mi
Distance
3 hrs 24 min
Time
terrain
3,086 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Mount Washington Trail resides in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Olallie State Park and is a short drive from the city of Seattle making it a perfect day hike option. With less crowds compared to other North Bend hikes, Mount Washington provides the chance to hike past popular climbing walls and summit a local peak.

Getting Started

The trail starts in Olallie State Park right off the I-90 Highway Exit 38. The out and back trail leaves from the parking lot from the middle south end and climbs up a steep rocky trail before reaching a road crossing. Walk along the gravel road and continue uphill where the gravel road joins the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse Trail, also gravel. Find the trail off to the right and into the trees a few hundred feet up the road. The trail switchbacks through old growth forests making the hike feel slightly more gradual. Continue past rock climbing walls, where in the dry summer months you can find climbers ascending the wall.

This trail goes by Semi Wall, Amazonia, Club Paradiso, Actual Cave, Chainsaw Wall, Peannacle Wall, Slumbersome Ridge, Lost Resort, and Owl Hike Spot. Owl hike spot can be found 1.6 miles in, giving you a viewpoint of Rattlesnake Ledge. At 2 miles in, you come to a junction, left going to the Great Wall, and right going to Mount Washington.

Continue on the trail. Follow non-traditional signs, like hand-carved lettering on a wood sign, as you continue to gain elevation, one having the letters MT WA carved on a wood square with an arrow. While most of the trail stays under the canopy of the trees, wrap along a contour line through an easy boulder field before switching back into the trees. By the marsh at 2.8 miles, you are on both the Olallie Trail and the Mount Washington trail. The trail continues to your left and then at the junction stay right to continue upwards, otherwise you will be just on the Olallie Trail (there should be a printed out sign that says "Mount Washington Peak").

You will come to a very sharp switchback with good valley views and if you look carefully, there's a trail that descends down into the valley off to the right -- this trail is very easy to miss but is more obvious on the way back down. Stay on the main path to continue upwards. This switchback is on the edge of the Cedar River Watershed, which is a water source for the city of Seattle. Practice Leave No Trace principles in the area and stay on the trail. A little further on, you will once again come to a junction very close to the peak, but it will be obvious that going up to the right will take you there. Going left will take you down to route 5010-310, a hiking/biking trail.

The summit rewards hikers with surrounding views of the Central Cascades. Beware of the Canada Jays, who don't show any bashfulness around humans.

Taking Children

This is a steep hike with lots of loose rocks. Not recommended for smaller/younger children because of the steepness and length.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 years, 1 month ago
    Lower trail is mostly loose rocks. There were couple of stream crossings. After 2.2 miles wore our spikes. There was fresh snow after that and lot of post-holing . The trail is quite narrow most of the place in the last mile. The view was awesome from the top.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 years, 1 month ago
    A few patches of snow still remaining, around 3100' ending by 4000'. Trail is mostly snow free at this point and melting fast. Minimal to no trouble with any postholing or route finding. Not too crowded on Monday. Better than most of these i90 summits but still not that great as far as views. Some trillium blooming.
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 years, 1 month ago
    A wonderful year-round hike I will continually revisit because of its' decent distance and elevation gain, beautiful views up top, and proximity to Bellevue and Seattle, i.e. within 30-45 minutes respectively. Regards to this early May trip report, there was slushy yet compact snow on the last 1-2 miles. Snow-shoes not required or worth the extra weight and microspikes are good to have on hand but unnecessary due to the type of snow/slushiness.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    5 years, 4 months ago
    Trail in good condition overall. Lower portion generally dry with cobbles. Mid section has running water and snow still hanging in at 3800; and spikes strongly suggested for upper trail. Great views to the south.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    5 years, 11 months ago
    Hike is good for scoping out climbing areas and for a close-to-Seattle hike where you don't want to take all day. The view is decent from the top. Turns for the trail are mainly marked but don't forget to take a description of the turns or a map with the trail to follow with you.
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    2 weeks, 5 days ago
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Public Tracks

user_profile
PNWRich 7 years, 5 months ago
PNWRich: Mt Washington
Great EOY trip up Mt WA. The trail was a little icy down low so we used spikes. The upper third had fresh snow so we put on snowshoes when we had to break trail.
user_profile
pankaj.rajvanshi 8 years ago
Mount Washington, WA
Missed the entrance to trail, watch carefully to left for rock cairns
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Paul 6 years, 1 month ago
Mt Washinhton
Phil drew Courtney Arcteryx boots
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PaulT 6 years, 1 month ago
Mt. Washington 5/13/18
Mt. Washington, North Bend WA
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timunderwood 8 years, 10 months ago
Mt Washington (8/12/15, 4:58:35PM)
Wednesday Night Hike
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