Obstruction Peak is a regionally important mountain in the Olympic Mountain range. Conveniently located at the junction of two major mountain ridges, Hurricane Ridge and Grand Ridge, Obstruction Peak has a great viewpoint of the northern Olympic Mountains and valleys. When considered part of Hurricane Ridge, at its eastern end, Obstruction Peak is the highest point on that ridgeline. When considered part of Grand Ridge, at its southern end, Obstruction Peak is the third-highest point on that ridgeline (behind Elk Mountain and a sub-peak between them).
Due to multiple trails and an adjoining road along the upper slopes of Obstruction Peak, access to the summit can be both short and easy. The summit of Obstruction Peak is most attainable via the southern side, which is a gentle-sloped side of the peak, from the Obstruction Point Trailhead parking area. It is not recommended to attempt to summit the mountain via its north, east, or west sides because of the terrain. The north and east sides are very steep, nearly vertical in various places, and full of very loose scree. The west side of the mountain is also steep and full of loose scree, and scree slides are common.
Although a few trees are scattered on the upper slopes of the mountain, mostly on the southern slopes but also a few trees near a small northern sub-summit, the peak is mostly barren. Wildflowers are abundant in late Spring and Summer months, especially lupine. Deer, elk, and marmots are commonly found on the mountain. Snow moles are commonly found on the mountain during months while the mountain is covered with snow.
Obstruction Peak can be climbed year-round. The off-trail hike from the Obstruction Point Trailhead parking area (6100' elevation) up the southern slope to the summit (6450' elevation) is only an easy YDS Class 1-2 trek, with an approximate 0.5-mile roundtrip hike and 350' elevation gain. No official trail leads to the summit, although an established "path" is very noticeable along the summit ridge above 6400' elevation. During winter months, Obstruction Peak would be a great snowshoeing destination. The summit of Obstruction Peak is currently represented with an old USGS Suvery Marker, although it is hexagon-shaped rather than the standard round-shaped type found on mountains.
Both Obstruction Peak and Obstruction Point were named by a pioneer who was known only as "Cameron" by locals. Cameron was a local rancher in the area who derived the names because that location obstructed the building of a trail he wanted to have along the ridgeline.
Getting ThereDirections provided lead from various cities to the Hood Canal Bridge, and then to Obstruction Peak from that one location.
From Seattle to the Hood Canal Bridge:
Either take a Washington State Ferry from the waterfront at Coleman Dock to Bremerton or Bainbridge Island (see below). You may also choose to drive south to Tacoma on I-5. Take the Gig Harbor / Highway 16 exit and follow to the Hood Canal Bridge.
From Bremerton to the Hood Canal Bridge:
Drive to Highway 3 heading northbound toward the Hood Canal Bridge.
From Bainbridge Island to the Hood Canal Bridge:
Drive west on Highway 305 to Poulsbo. Take the on-ramp to Highway 3 toward the Hood Canal Bridge.
From Everett to the Hood Canal Bridge:
Take a Washington State Ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, and then follow Highway 104 to the Hood Canal Bridge.
Cross the Hood Canal Bridge on Highway 104 and follow the signs to Port Angeles, Washington. Highway 104 merges onto Highway 101 prior to Port Angeles.
In Port Angeles, follow signs to the Olympic National Park. Turn south towards the hills on S Race Street. Follow the signs up to Hurricane Ridge, approximately 17 miles from the Port Angeles Ranger Station. As you reach Hurricane Ridge, just before the parking lot is a dirt road to the south. If the gate is open, head on out another 8.4 miles to the end of the road at the Obstruction Point parking area. Park there, and then walk off-trail up the southern slope of Obstruction Peak to its summit.
NOTE: The Obstruction Point Trailhead is also the entrance point for Badger Valley, Grand Ridge, Grand Valley, Lillian Ridge and beyond.
Green Trails Map #135 clearly shows the location of Obstruction Peak at the eastern end of Obstruction Point Road, although remember that there is no official trail leading to the summit.
Red TapeObstruction Peak is located within Olympic National Park. Park fees, rules, and regulations apply. Backcountry permits are required for overnight stays.
Obstruction Point Road is closed during Winter and Spring, usually opening by June during most years.
If climbing this peak, try not to step on the wildflowers and other fragile plant life. It is recommended to stay on rocky scree as much as possible while hiking off-trail.