While not one of the higher or glaciated peaks of the Olympic Range, Mount Rose offers an excellent climb for those needing a break in experience. With less snow in the early season than many other Olympic peaks Mount Rose is a great outing for getting one's self in shape.. Currently Mount Rose is in an ongoing process of regeneration, after a forest fire charred its western slopes in 2005. At an elevation of over 4,300 feet, Mt Rose gives the climber a reward of beautiful mountain scenery into the southern peaks of the Olympic Range and can usually be had in relative seclusion, depending on the time of year.
Mount Rose is just to the west of Mount Ellinor and on the north end of Lake Cushman in the Olympic Mountains of Washington. Major peaks in the Olympics that can be viewed from the trail and summit are: Mount Ellinor, Mount Pershing, Copper Mountain, Six Ridge, Wonder Mountain, Capital Peak and Lightning Peak, as well as views up the North Fork of the Skokomish valley and the south face of Mount Lincoln. To get to the summit all one has to do is endure a grueling 6.4 loop hike to the top and bottom of Mount Rose. The trail starts at about 800 feet and climbs 3500 feet in about three miles. Lush vegetation abounds on the flanks of Mt Rose, with various tree species including; Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Vine Leaf Maple, Alder, Western Red Cedar, Alaska Cedar and Sub-Alpine Fir. This is a very popular early season climb and is often a conditioner for hikers and backpackers. The easiest route is the right fork in the trail that takes 1.6 miles to reach the summit (instead of the 1.1) mile left route. There's only one fairly steep pitch that will require some scrambling ability on the right trail to the summit, but is very doable.
Since the recent fire on Mt Rose life has begun to return to normal. The southeast Olympic Range is scarred by many a fire, and Mt Rose is yet another area touched by this natural, or unnatural (usually) disaster. Views have improved though and hikers can now enjoy a more open experience through the upper portion of the trail, as well as witness the amazing newness of life being reborn daily on the slopes of this gentle peak.
Getting ThereFrom Hoodsport drive west onlake Cushman Road. Keep driving until you reach forest rd. 24. Turn left on Forest Rd. 24 and drive 2.7 miles to the sign for Mount Rose trail. From there, park your car and cross over two log bridges above some cascading falls to reach the trail that leads up Mount Rose.
Red TapeNo permits are required for this peak and no fee's. Since the mountain is in the Skokomish Wilderness Area then Wilderness rules apply. No fires above 3500 feet being one of them.
When To Climb
Late May to mid-October is a great time to climb to Mount Rose. Late fall and winter climbing is also available; however, snow and ice on the upper slopes make a going more dangerous. A danger of at least twisting one's ankle aboound.
Trail markers have been added for winter climbing, and these help guide one to the summit. But go with someone who's been there before if your going to climb it in the winter or early spring. The markers are fairly difficult to find, if you are not experienced at searching for markers.
Mountain ConditionsHoodsport Ranger Station (NPS), P.O. Box 186, Hoodsport, WA 98548