The hike from Hurricane Ridge to Mount Angeles is a spectacular day hike in Olympic National Park. Along the Klahhane Ridge Trail you have panoramic views over this side of Olympic National Park. To get up onto Mount Angeles, it’s a tough hike that ends with some tricky rock scrambling, but you are rewarded for your efforts. On a clear day, you get 360° views from the peak of Mount Angeles (the highest peak in the Hurricane Ridge area) so getting here is well worth the effort.
In this post, learn how to hike to Mount Angeles. If you are looking for something shorter or less challenging, you only need to hike a portion of this trail to still get some truly amazing views of Olympic National Park.
Here’s how to do it.
Facts About the Hike
Distance: 6.5 miles
Total Ascent: 2,551 feet (75% of this elevation gain is on the hike from Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to the peak of Mount Angeles, the other 25% comes on the return hike)
Starting Elevation (Hurricane Ridge): 5,246 feet
Highest Elevation (Mount Angeles): 6,433 feet
Difficulty: Most of the hike is easy to moderate; the final hike and rock scramble up to the peak is difficult
Length of time: 4 to 6 hours
When to go: The best time to hike to Mount Angeles is during the summer season when the trail is free of snow. During the winter season, the road to Hurricane Ridge is only open on weekends and can close at anytime due to snowfall. Learn more on the NPS website.
Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail to Mount Angeles
Getting to the Trailhead
The trail starts next to the parking lot for the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
To get here, drive Hurricane Ridge Road to the very end. The parking lot for the visitor center is enormous. However, the trail starts at the eastern end of the parking lot, so there is no need to drive to the end of the lot (unless there is limited parking when you arrive).
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and parking lot seen from Sunrise Point Trail.
Look for the paved trail labeled with the sign for the High Ridge Trail. This is where your hike begins.
High Ridge Trail
High Ridge Nature Trail to Sunrise Point
The High Ridge Nature Trail starts off as a paved trail. It climbs up onto a ridge and nice overlook. It then becomes a dirt trail that can be rather dusty if it has not rained recently.
The view along the trail of Sunrise Point and Mount Angeles.
Another view of Mount Angeles and Hurricane Ridge Road
After walking across the ridge, you have the option to hike the spur trail to Sunrise Point. This detour adds 0.2 miles onto the hike. The view from Sunrise Point is nice but honestly, I don’t think you lose much by skipping it. Here is the view to help you decide.
View from Sunrise Point
Hiking to Mount Angeles
Continue past the spur trail to Sunrise Point. The trail goes by two different names, based on trail maps I have seen and online reports: the Sunrise Point Trail and the Klahhane Ridge Trail.
Along this trail, you have great views of Puget Sound and the snowcapped mountains of Olympic Park. You get some great views from this part of the trail, although it doesn’t even come close to what you will get from the peak of Mount Angeles.
The trail alternates between exposed ridgeline and dense forests with wildflowers.
Looking back along the trail towards the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
View of Mount Angeles from the trail. The white line marks the short, easy trail to the overlook. The trail to Mount Angeles is the red line.
Optional Turn-Around Point: If you don’t want to hike all of the way to Mount Angeles, I recommend hiking to the viewpoint along Sunrise Point Trail. Right before you get to the big descent, there is a very short spur trail that takes you to a nice overlook. From here, you can see Mount Angeles and you have a great view along Sunrise Ridge. For those who don’t want to do a big, strenuous day hike, this makes a great turn-around point. On our map of the trail, I labeled this spot as “overlook.” If you just hike to this overlook, you will hike 3 miles round trip with 800 feet of total ascent.
After a big descent followed by a smaller climb, you will come to a fork in the trail. Take the trail to the left to continue to Mount Angeles. When we did this (July 2020), the trail to the left is not marked by any sign. The only trail marker here is a sign labeled “TRAIL,” which marks the Klahhane Ridge Trail.
Hiking/Scrambling up Mount Angeles
Once you get to the fork in the trail, the hike gets radically harder. It is a constant uphill hike, mostly through a forest, although you will get some occasional views out over Olympic National Park. This part of the trail isn’t too bad in terms of difficulty, but that will change.
Once you emerge from the trees, Mount Angeles will be in front of you. At this point, the trail gets steeper and can be hard to follow in spots. There are no trail signs at this point and very little in terms of rock cairns to keep you moving in the correct direction. Basically, you have to follow the worn trail of those who have hiked here before you, but the trail can be easy to lose in some spots.
After hiking up steep dirt trails and over scree slopes, you have one final climb before you. There is a fork in the trail. If you take the trail to the left, it’s a little bit longer, but it is also less steep with just a little bit of rock scrambling at the very end. If you are not confident in your rock scrambling skills, we recommend going left at the fork.
The trail to the right is a shorter but steeper climb to the summit with some technical rock scrambling. This is the route we took and here are our photos.
The last scramble onto the peak is the most challenging. Some other hikers turned around without attempting this part. If you can do it, it is worth it to get to the top, since you get to see those panoramic views you worked so hard for. However, if you get to this point and don’t think you can manage the rock scramble, I recommend retracing your steps to the fork and going up the left side.
Once standing safely on top of Mount Angeles, enjoy the spectacular view. On a clear day, you can see Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, the mountains of Olympic National Park, and Mt. Rainier.
To get down off of Mount Angeles, we hiked down the left side of the peak, and it is much easier than the tricky rock scramble.
To get back to your car, retrace your steps.
Tips to Have the Best Experience
In order to stand on top of Mount Angeles, you will have to do some rock scrambling. The rock scrambling in this hike is challenging and if you have never done any rock scrambling before, you should consider skipping this hike. The scrambling is tricky in spots with steep drop-offs, so you need to be confident in your ability before attempting this climb.
This hike is best done on a clear day. If it’s cloudy, you won’t get to see the amazing views that you worked so hard for. Check the weather forecast before you go and if you will be in Olympic National Park for multiple days, consider hiking this trail on the clearest weather day.
Leave no trace. When you are in the park, practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace. This includes packing out what you bring into the park, be considerate of other hikers, stay on the trail, and do not remove anything from the park.
What to Bring on the Hike
Hiking shoes. Don’t do this hike in anything other than hiking shoes or hiking boots. The final trail up to Mount Angeles, with the loose rock and scree, is slippery. You will also need shoes with good traction for the final section of rock scrambling.
Hiking poles. Hiking poles take the stress off of your legs and help to ease leg pain and fatigue.
Water and snacks. At least 2 liters of water in the summer.
Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. For much of this hike you will be exposed to the sun, with very little shade.
Rain jacket or fleece. It can be chilly on top of Mount Angeles, even in the summer. Be prepared for all weather conditions.
Check trail conditions on the national park service website before you go.
If you have any questions about hiking to Mount Angeles in Olympic National Park, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Washington:
- Olympic: How to Hike Mt. Storm King
- North Cascades: 12 Amazing Hikes in North Cascades National Park
- Mt. Rainier: How to Hike the Skyline Trail Loop and Panorama Point
- Mt. Rainier: How to Hike to Tolmie Peak Lookout
- Enchantments: Complete Guide to the Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Are you planning a trip through the United States? Read all of our articles about the USA in our United States Travel Guide.
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