Olympic National Park - Elk Mountain

May 3, 2018
Back in August I had an on & off trail expedition in Olympic National park which I loved. Unfortunately on day 5 of the trip (the last day) it was extremely cloudy and the supposed amazingly beautiful ridge walk was mostly socked in. I found some time to go back and complete (mostly) that section of the trail. I brought Lacey along too so she can get a taste of the Olympics.

Day Hike Total Miles : 11.6
Total Net Elevation Gain : 2970 ft

We arrived at Deer Park CG where the trail starts and nabbed a pretty awesome camp spot. It was pretty vacant, the summer crowd was all gone. After setting camp up we went to the summit of Blue Mountain which was less than 1 mile and around 600ft of elevation gain away.

Camp spot.

Headed through dead late fall meadows

Very eastern WA looking. Summit ahead.

At the top of blue mountain. Long sand bar on left is the dungeness spit and the big mountain 88 miles away is Mount Baker with the North Cascades off to the right. The local relief of the olympics is trippy. We could literally see 0 feet above sea level from our 5900ft summit lol (in example the Tetons have 6800ft of local relief)

As I mentioned in my previous trip here, the elevations aren't grand in the olympics but the mountains due to local relief look and the lower alpine zones look freaking huge.

Looking directly east. Big white mountain center left of the photo is Glacier Peak which is 100 miles away.

Looking NW into Canada. Freighters leaving port.

Headed back to camp. Gnarly alpenglow on Glacier Peak and the North Cascades

The Needles

Same meadow we walked through. Warm colors of the pacific sunset gave it more life.

Back at camp.

The morning of we packed up and drive the .4 miles down to the trail head which leads to Obstruction Point (which is now a closed road for the season)

Incredible inversion. It was really warm out.

Rounding the bend. Cant believe the clouds robbed me of this on my last trip!

Grand Valley. Last trip I ended up walking through there. It was a lot greener and livelier in August haha.

Grand Lake and Moose Lake were frozen solid. Must have been much MUCH colder in the valleys as it was REALLY nice at camp @ 5000+ feet. Pressure systems are weird.

There is the summit of Elk Mountain. Deceivingly close but still some-what far.

Mount Olympus in the distance. Our turn off point to the right of camera.

Off the trail and up we go.

Up and to the right!

Summit of Elk mountain. You can see the snow line the trail in the distance. It leads right to the Obstruction Point TH

Looking back the other way.

Windy summit but thankfully not even close as windy as our sierra trip!

Grand Valley again

Headed back the inversion is gone.

Elk are down in the town again.

I cant wait for spring and early summer.


Feb 7, 2015
We lived for a year in Gig Harbor....but that was a different life ago. All we did in the Olympic Mountains was hop out of the car and take a few photos. We did do a small bit of hiking over on the coast at least, then Ranier and Mt. St. Helens......so we have that experience. I loved your original trip video. Thanks for going back to see what you missed!


Wilderness Wanderer
Sep 23, 2016
Northwest Wanderer, loved your trip report and photos. Thanks for posting! Now thru the years have done various trips out there to the Olympic Peninsula and have been all over. It is all soooo incredible out there. Now that whole area offers soooo incredibly much and need to get back out there again. Now it looks like your trip back with Lacey was well worth the effort for the nice weather you had up on top.

Wishing You the Best!
May 3, 2018
Northwest Wanderer, loved your trip report and photos. Thanks for posting! Now thru the years have done various trips out there to the Olympic Peninsula and have been all over. It is all soooo incredible out there. Now that whole area offers soooo incredibly much and need to get back out there again. Now it looks like your trip back with Lacey was well worth the effort for the nice weather you had up on top.

Wishing You the Best!

Thank you! Yeah the weather for the last half of fall was really dry. We got the rain finally coming though!


I like to go outside.
May 31, 2015
Unbelievable scenery. Especially that sunset. I need to make it out there someday.


Because I am able.
Dec 31, 2017
Every shot you capture is just a piece of heaven! I love seeing your photos! Thanks for the share!
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