OverviewMount Stone is located in the south eastern corner of the Olympic National Park. Its neighbors include Pershing, Bretherton, and Skokomish. Sone lies immediately north of the Hamma Hamma River River Road (FS road 25) which is also the location of the normal trailhead for climbing Stone. Though the summit (and the two prominent subsummits) lies within the boundaries of the national park, much of its southern flanks lie within the Mount Skokomish Wilderness area. There are three summits on Stone: South (main, 6612 feet), Middle (c. 6600 feet), and North (6400 feet). The first two have class 3 routes to their respective tops; the North summit has a class 2 route. Stone can easily be climbed car-to-car in a day from the Hamma Hamma River Road or can be combined into a pleasant overnight outing along with the climb of the nearby Mt. Skokomish.
This information was provided by Bob Bolton:
Mt. Stone is the highpoint of Mason County. It is one of 11 county highpoints in Washington that requires over 5,000 feet of elevation gain to reach the summit by the easiest route. Washington has more county highpoints in this category than any other lower 48 state. At 2,132 feet of topographic prominence, Mt. Stone is the 118th most prominent peak in Washington.
Getting ThereThe standard route for Mt. Stone is the approach from the Putvin Trail. From Hoodsport, WA drive US highway 101 north for 13.5 miles to the signed turn off (west) for the Hamma Hamma River Road (FS road 25). Take FS road 25 for about 11.5 miles from US 101. The road is paved part of the way (past the trailhead for Lena Lake/The Brothers) but the dirt portion is well maintained and easily passable by low clearance vehicles. Keep an eye out for a historical marker (on the right hand side, Putvin's grave). You should see an unmarked trailhead parking (road becomes wider) on the left side of the road immediately past the sign. The starting point for the hike in is on the right side of the road - look for the "Putvin Trail" sign.
In 2008 a washout blocked the last mile of the road to the trailhead. By late 2009 the washout had been repaired to the point of being passable by high clearance vehicles. As of 2012 the road has been completely repaired and is passable by any standard passenger vehicle. Thanks goes out to the forest service for this repair.
Easiest RouteThe easiest route up Mount Stone requires some class 3 scrambling which some feel should be considered class 4 in a couple spots (rating is debatable and depends on route). Route 1 is the standard route up and is rated as class 3 in the Olympic Mountains climbing guide. The Putvin Trail is known for it's steepness and includes a couple short sections of class 3 up rocks and tree roots before reaching a basin. Shortly after reaching the basin you come to a small pond affectionately known as "Frog Pond". From here the route goes largely cross country although there are a few boot paths/climbers trails that you will find along the way.
After the basin containing Frog Pond you can veer right to scramble up a brushy gully to reach a talus/boulder field just below St. Peter's Gate. This route is excellently outlined by Klenke in this photo:
Alternately, the talus/boulder field can be reached by following the trail to the Lake of the Angels past Frog Pond until you reach a creek crossing. Prior to crossing the creek a bootpath can be found following the creek for a short distance before becoming faint and leading to a bushwhack. You may also find a boot path leading north from the Lake of the Angels for those staying the night at the lake which also leads to the talus/boulder field.
Once into the talus/boulder basin you will notice St. Peter's Gate, an obvious notch with cliffs on each side. You will not be heading up to St. Peter's Gate, but rather heading left under the long band of cliffs up and around to the left where you will reach a pass and a class 3 section starting on your right.
It is possible to ascend the other side of St. Peter's Gate to meet up with the standard route which is described here in the Stone Pond - St. Peter's Gate route.
Once you navigate around the cliff band the rest of the route is class 3 (with some class 2) up to the summit. Several sections of scrambling are viewed here:
Total Distance: 9-10 miles round trip
Total Elevation Gain: 5100+
Total Time: 6 hours (very fast) 10 hours (average) 14 hours (leisurely pace)
Red TapeThe North West Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead ($5/day or $30/year).
Additionally, if you're planning on camping within the national park, a backcountry permit is required. See the "Mountain Conditions" section below for details on obtaining one.
Note that some of the national park rules (no weapons, no pets, no bicycles) apply to the section of the Putvin Trail not only within the national park but also within the Mount Skokomish Wilderness area.
When To Climb"Normal climbing season" - July through September - offers the most stable weather. Early season and winter climbs will obviously be made more difficult by the snow-closures of the Hamma Hamma River Road (trailhead is at approximately 1500 - 2000 feet).
CampingA backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight stays within the Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (see above) regarding permits. The most likely camping destination for a Mount Stone climb is at the Lake of the Angels, a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and climbers.
Mountain ConditionsContact the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles, WA at 360-565-3100. You can also visit their (fairly good for NPS) website: WIC website . The rangers there are very helpful and usually well-informed as to trail conditions etc. Note that some but not all areas within ONP are subject to camping quotas. The rangers readily accept reservations.
GuidebookThe only known guidebook to list Mount Stone is the Climber's Guide to the Olympic Mountains. It discusses three possible summit routes as well as routes for the two subsummits. The descriptions are brief but fairly accurate (for the most part). The book also has a 3D projection sketch of Stone and vicinity.
- Eric's Base Camp
This is an EXCELLENT (and constantly growing) collection of climb reports for many of Washington's mountains (and others). An early season climb of Mt. Stone is described here.
- Climb Photos
A nice collection of Mt. Stone climb photos (via standard route).
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