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Mount Storm King

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Huff and puff up a short steep trail to an eagle's-eye view of Lake Crescent. From a vertigo-inducing aerie peer straight down to the deep-blue waters of one of the Olympic Peninsula's most famous landmarks. Despite its difficulty, this trail entertains its fair share of hiking neophytes and Sunday-afternoon strollers due to its proximity to the Marymere Falls Nature Trail. Aside from knocking the wind out of unconditioned hikers, this trail can be dangerous because of its exposed ledges. Keep an eye on children and avoid this trip during bad weather.

Join swarms of people on the first 0.5 mile of this hike, as it uses the well-groomed and well-trodden Marymere Falls Nature Trail. At a giant boulder that came crashing down Storm King many moons ago, a small sign indicates the way to go for Storm King's lookouts (left and up!).

Under a climate-controlled old-growth canopy, ascend steeply and quickly. As the trail works its way up the south-facing hogback, the dampness dissipates. Madronas and salal now decorate the way. From here on up, the terrain is dry and the hike can be quite hot during the summer months. Get an early start, or consider Storm King as an evening enticement.

As you rise above the Barnes Creek valley and busy US 101, the crash of rushing water and the hum of zooming traffic fills the air. Enjoy a short reprieve from the steepness as the trail traverses a fir-filled bench. Then head into low gear again as the grade intensifies. Occasional window views of Aurora Ridge interrupt the monotony of the grunt.

After 1.4 miles, which feels more like 3, arrive at a series of belvederes (elev. 2000 ft) on a ledge that drops off precipitously to the north. Enjoy a stunning view of Lake Crescent directly below, with Pyramid Mountain hovering over the jewel. Savor the scenery and bask in the sunshine, or carry on if you desire. A second viewpoint is reached in another 0.5 mile and after 400 more feet of elevation gain. The lake is hidden from there, but the deep, wide, verdant Barnes Creek valley is fully revealed.
Driving Directions:

From Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 20 miles to Barnes Point at milepost 228 and turn right (signed "Lake Crescent Lodge and Marymere Falls"). In 0.2 mile, at a stop sign, turn right and proceed to a large parking area. The trail begins on the Marymere Falls Nature Trail near the rustic Storm King Ranger Station. Picnic site and restrooms available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 15 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Mount Storm King, Marymere Falls — Apr 11, 2014 — Wendy W
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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The trail is in good shape and easy to follow. There is no snow and very little mud. We saw slugs, s...
The trail is in good shape and easy to follow. There is no snow and very little mud. We saw slugs, snakes, gray jays, robins, chickadees, trillium, yellow violets, pretty pink succulents and more.

The views of the lake from the first viewpoints were beautiful! In the distance we could see the Straight of Jaun de Fuca.

We continued UP to the viewpoint at the end of the trail where we found a nice spot to sit and enjoy the view of trees and peaks. We wanted to go farther but respected the sign and our safety.

After descending we strolled over to the lovely Marymere Falls.

Our hike got off to a bad start when I realized, about half a mile up, that I had left my phone on top of the car. Hubby ran down to get it. We are so happy that it was still there. Thanks to all the good people that saw it and left there for us!

Great day!
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Mount Storm King, Marymere Falls — Mar 02, 2014 — samnkyle
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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Only one other car was in the parking lot when we arrived to the trailhead at about 9:45 this mornin...
Only one other car was in the parking lot when we arrived to the trailhead at about 9:45 this morning. Weather was wet, grey and dripping.

The trail up to Mount Storm King was in decent shape a few small limbs and sapplings lay over the trail. Only minimal melting snow at the top, less than an inch and only spotty at best. Views of Lake Cresent were socked in with fog.

Sauntered to Marymere Falls after descending the climb to the top. The falls were gorged with water.
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Mount Storm King — Aug 15, 2013 — Gabriel
Day hike
Issues: No water source
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A lot of quick elevation gain. We were walking through the clouds during the last half of the hike....
A lot of quick elevation gain. We were walking through the clouds during the last half of the hike. Fortunately they opened up for a minute when we got to the top so we could take in the amazing view.
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Mount Storm King — Jul 28, 2013 — BT Trumpet
Day hike
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Beautiful clear day at Lake Crescent for a hike up Storm King. Steep trail with great views of the l...
Beautiful clear day at Lake Crescent for a hike up Storm King. Steep trail with great views of the lake and a section of the Strait and VI closer to the top. Unfortunately, beyond the "hazardous" sign the rope had been removed making that last section a bit too sketchy for us. From prior posts looks like that has been a problem. We wanted to ask a ranger if the Park had removed it due to liability, but didn't see one on the trail. Nice warm day and a refreshing jump in the lake before heading out!
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Mount Storm King — Mar 17, 2013 — Nutmeg
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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More pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51278183@N05/sets/72157633040812464/ Typical mid-March...
More pics at: http://www.flickr.com/[…]/

Typical mid-March gave us a bit of everything on our hike up Storm King Mt. This trail shares its beginning with the Marymere Falls trail, first traveling through a tunnel under 101. The Marymere trail accommodates 3-4 abreast easily – a superhighway. Although it did not have the crowds of summer, we saw 6 other hikers before arriving at the huge boulder signaling the turnoff to Storm King. The trail narrows and steepens. The madrona trees along this trail are a real treat with their graceful curves and vibrant yellow-red-green peeling trunks.

I recall doing this trail as a young girl on a hot day and feeling pretty put out at the top, hot and sticky, when the only reward was a view of the lake I would much rather be IN! That was quickly remedied some 30+ years ago the minute we were back at the lake. Today I reveled in the climb as the drizzle turned to snow about ½ way up. The trail was snow free (except what fell as we walked, maybe 3/4 inch) and in great shape, though you must watch your step as much of it is a network of roots and rocks. I commented on our way up at what a whiner I’d been as a lass; this trail’s a breeze!

We got to the first viewpoint and had a lovely gander at the mist below, what I call a “faith view” (we BELIEVE the lake is down there). We went on up to the end of the maintained trail, still in a cloud. My husband said, “I agree with little you; this hike was hard – my GPS says 1843 gain in 1.4 miles.” I thought he was silly until we headed down, then my knees secretly sided with him. As we headed down, the sun and wind combined to offer us – YES! – Lake Crescent at our feet, and even fleeting glimpses across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to British Columbia. I was not as tempted today to jump in the lake upon our return. On the way down the snow melted and dropped off the trees so fast it sounded like a million tiny streams all around us. My husband and I both got nailed by mischievous firs dropping loads of snow just as we passed under. That’s REFRESHING down the back of the neck!

Back on Marymere trail, we (my husband notes I am using the royal we) were not ready to call it a day, so we headed up Barnes Creek trail and then to Marymere Falls (separate trip report on that stroll). We saw 6 other hikers total on Storm King, 3 on the way up & 3 as we headed down. It felt like we had the trail to ourselves. This is a great winter hike and a much better way, I think, to do Storm King than battling the heat and hordes of summer.
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crescent lake from Mt. Storm King trail 1.JPG
View of Lake Crescent from Mount Storm King. Photo by Tylakewalker.
Location
Mount Storm King (#49)
Olympics -- North
Olymic National Park, Wilderness Information Center
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.8 miles
Elevation Gain 1700 ft
Highest Point 2400 ft
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Lake Crescent No. 101
Custom Correct Lake Crescent-Happy Lake Ridge

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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