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Trip Report

Mount Storm King

Olympic Peninsula

Trip Report By

Hiked May 26, 2017

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Minor obstacles posing few problems

Road

Road suitable for all vehicles

Bugs

Bugs were not too bad

Snow

Snow free

Mount Storm King is easily one of the best names in the Olympics, named for a Klallum tribe legend, but similarly conjuring up imagery of moody Norse-Gael coastal peaks. While the trail may lack anything quite as aggressive as its title suggests, it does offer wonderful elevated views of Lake Crescent.

After a quick jaunt out to Cape Flattery, we decided to add Mount Storm King on the return trip home as we needed to get some conditioning in for backpacking season. The trail is quite popular in the Lake Crescent area with the nearby Spruce Railroad Trail closed until July, and Storm King sharing a trailhead with the also well attended Marymere Falls. Trails like Storm King and Hurricane Ridge compete for the attention of elevation starved beach campers returning to the city via 101, so expect a gentle stream of foot traffic on your visit.

Storm King is a steep, moderately challenging hike that begins with a leisurely stroll along Barnes Creek before splitting at the half-mile marker. The marker sits at the base of a giant boulder, which serves as an appropriate post for the detour since the Klallum legend tells of Mount King hurling a giant boulder from the peak to create Lake Crescent and Lake Sutherland.

Steep switchbacks punctuate the trail after the split, but it never approaches the completely dishearten grade of something like Old Mailbox trail or the depraved urban training ground of Capitol Hill’s Howe Street stairs. We overloaded our packs for conditioning purposes, but otherwise hiking poles and large water bottles would have sufficed for gear. The trail is dry and well maintained, but the last section of Storm King has some exposed scrambling with ropes installed to aid climbers. However, most will be content to stop at the viewpoint just short of the true summit where you receive your best views of Lake Crescent without the risk of exposure.

We ate lunch at the viewpoint, enjoyed the view and soaked in the day’s pristine weather. It was wonderful. After a nice break, we headed back down and upon returning to the car, our 4.4 mile roundtrip clocked in around 2 hours and 30 minutes. We were taking our time though, so regard this as a trail time on the slower side of things.

Trip Tracker:

Departed trailhead: 1:45 pm

Arrived at the trail split: 2:00 pm

Reached the summit: 3:15 pm

Returned to the trailhead: 4:15 pm

Comments

Maddy on Mount Storm King

Great report. Love your writing style.

Posted by:


Maddy on May 26, 2017 06:49 AM

dempie on Mount Storm King

Thanks, Maddy! Really enjoyed your Deception Creek report. Great to see your pup persevere over that bridge!

Posted by:


dempie on May 26, 2017 01:03 PM

SpokaneGeo on Mount Storm King

Great report. You know how to touch on the important aspects of a hike...length, difficulty, description, etc.

Thanks for telling me the best views can be had without the ropes. I'm bringing less experienced hikers with me to do this trail for the first time, so that's good to know.

Posted by:


SpokaneGeo on Jun 01, 2017 09:43 AM