OverviewThe words “Storm King” could aptly describe a great many summits around the world. Mountains are stormy places and the stormiest of the stormy could be the kings of their respective realms. And so it is that there are, in the United States alone, nine summits known by these words (a tenth summit, Rathdrum Mountain in Idaho, uses "Storm King Mountain" as a variant name). Colorado and Washington both have the most summits with that name with four. And only New York has the other. Maybe there could have been more and maybe more states could have made use of the moniker.
The breakdown of these Storm Kings is:
Storm King Mountains: 5
Storm King Mountain (8793F, 513P) – Garfield County, Colorado
Storm King Mountain (10849F, 849P) – Saguache County, Colorado
Storm King Mountain (5375F, 1335P) – Ferry County, Washington
Storm King Mountain (4750F, 2230P) – Lewis County, Washington [WA 2000-ft Prominence Peaks]
Storm King Mtn (1340+F, 100P) – Orange County, New York [summitpost page]
Storm Kings: 2
Storm King (11412P, 12P) – Ouray County, Colorado
Storm King (8520+F, 600P) – Chelan County, Washington [summitpost page]
Storm King Peaks: 1
Storm King Peak (13752F, 592P) – San Juan County, Colorado [summitpost page]
Mount Storm Kings: 1 [the subject of this page]
Mount Storm King (4500+F, 700P) – Clallam County, Washington
Mount Storm King is located on the north slope of Washington’s Olympic Range. The mountain could be considered a north slope front range peak since it is the highpoint of the west end of a high East-West ridge. The east end of this ridge is known as Baldy Ridge and its highpoint is 5050+ ft (1400P) west of Mt. Baldy. Mount Storm King is bounded by Barnes Creek on the south, beautiful Lake Crescent on the northwest, and Lake Sutherland on the northeast.
Here are some links with photos of the mountain
February 2006 failed attempt at West (Trail) Route (Jeff R. and Mark S.)
December 2006 successful ascent via North Route (Paul K., Jeff R., Mark S.)
History Around Lake Crescent...
The first picture is not taken from the summit but merely the top/end of the trail. The fourth and fifth pictures show the crags of the west ridge. The true summit is not quite visible.
Mount Storm King Trail...
The picture shows Mount Storm King from the west end of the lake.
The lower north slopes of the mountain have been logged but the roads are no longer accessible by automobile. Logging spurs extend to approximately 2,000 ft. There is a high spur farther east that goes almost all the way to the ridge crest at 4,000 ft but this is still a couple semi-rugged miles from the summit. The south slopes to Barnes Creek are unmarred by logging. There is supposedly a trail up the creek. The west slopes and the west ridge are rugged and present a problem for those attempting to climb the peak from the Mount Storm King Trail, which does not go all the way to the summit and ends before the going gets rough.
The summit of Storm King is quite rugged on all sides. Ancient pillow basalts rise in small buttresses and crags. Small trees rise very close to the summit but the views from the top are expansive.
There was supposedly a military lookout at the summit in bygone days. I cannot say as snowcover obscured any hints at a former platform. The view to the Straight of Juan De Fuca is outstanding.
The register at the summit dates to 1978 and there are maybe 30 entries in it. The last was in the summer of 2006. Our ascent was the second recorded winter ascent (based on the register). There was a February ascent, I believe in 1983.
All in all, Mount Storm King is a peak that is accessible year-round yet is rugged enough to make the climb more than just a slog in the forest. The drawback for Puget Sounders may be its relative remoteness for Seattle metropolitan area denizens.
Getting ThereMount Storm King is on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula. If coming from the east, from Port Angeles, drive about 15 miles west on Hwy 101 to Lake Sutherland. The mountain is to the south across the lake as you drive the highway along the lakeshore. If coming from the west, drive Hwy 101 to Lake Crescent. When you get to the ranger station at Barnes Point along the lakeshore Storm King is due east of you.
There are three routes worth mentioning: the west route via the Mount Storm King Trail, the east route via the high logging road, and the north route to the final east ridge. My party and I did the north route. This route merges with the high east route. The other members of my party also attempted the peak from the west trail route. They will have to elaborate on the trail and conjecture at the rest from there but I think the general idea is to stay on the north side of the ridge.
Routes: West (trail) route (THE TRAIL DOES NOT GO ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP), North and East routes
Red TapeThere is no red tape for climbing this peak except for the possible need for a Trail Park Pass at the Mount Storm King Trailhead. The west ridge and slopes are within Olympic National Park. The east ridge and slopes to either side are part of Olympic National Forest.
CampingThe mountain is merely a day-climb so no camping on its flanks will be necessary. For lodging in the area there are several lodges and campgrounds in the general area—especially at or near Lake Crescent within Olympic National Park.
When to ClimbMount Storm King can be climbed at any time of year. All routes start from an elevation of less than 1,000 ft. In the summer the climb may be easier but loose rock could be a concern.
Mountain ConditionsMount Storm King is somewhat located in the rain shadow of the Olympics.
Localized forecast for Lake Crescent
Forecast for Port Angeles