Sentinel Peak Overview
Sentinel Peak looms above Hayden Pass in the heart of the central eastern Olympics. When hiking south into the Olympics from Lost Pass, Sentinel Peak rises prominently on the horizon, begging for a closer look from the avid hiker and mountaineer. This Talus plastered peak is located at the head of the Dosewallips River, which runs East towards the Hood Canal. Its western slopes drain into the Elwah River system, which leads to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the north.
Sentinal Peak is an awesome location to view one of the Olympic's grandest and most spectacular uplifts, the Anderson Massif. The Eel and Hanging Glaciers of Anderson rise to the south of Sentinel Peak, rewarding the climber with a rush of beauty. Sentinel Peak's summit encompasses views of Thousand Acre Meadow, Wellesley Peak, Lost Peak, The Bailey Range, Mt Olympus, Mt Meany, Mt Queets,Mt Deception, Mt Cameron, Mt Christie, Mt Fromme and dozens of other Olympic beauties.
This simple class 2 scramble up a primitive climbers trail to the summit over loose rock is well worth the effort, not only for the view, but also for the variety of life along the way. Butterflies swarm small pockets of violet & white Phlox, and other beautiful blue and yellow beauties crowd the senses of the beholder. Take your time to enjoy the life on this beautiful Olympic summit.
Although many in the range are higher, few peaks hold such vast views and wild opportunities as does the Sentinel Peak experience. Great places to view this peak are from Lost Pass and the lush mountain stream meadows beneath Hayden Pass, where Black Bears thrive. With it's close proximity to Hayden Pass, Sentinel Peak is along a major access route to the eastern or western Olympics. However, the chances of meeting any people at the summit are unlikely. You'll probably have it all to yourself:)
Getting to Sentinel Peak
Although Sentinel Peak is a straight forward climb, the "getting there" will require much more effort. Since the Dose road washed out, it adds another five miles of hiking onto the Dosewallips River Trail. This makes it a 20 mile backpack in to get to the foot of Sentinel Peak at Hayden Pass, with about 4,000 feet of elevation gain to reach Hayden Pass.
The Cameron Creek Trail over Cameron Pass connects with the Dose Trail, and is another route with which to reach Sentinel's shiny Talus cliffs, but is about the same distance as the Dose trail, with much more elevation gain, just over 5,500 to reach Hayden Pass. Either way it's a long walk in, but any Olympic lover would make the effort just to view that stunning Eel Glacier!
Red Tape for Sentinel Peak
Fill out a permit at the Dose trailhead, which will cost 5 dollars per person, and another 2 dollars a night per person. If your entering in from Deer Park to go up the Cameron Creek trail it will cost you 15 dollars to enter the Park.
Camping Near Sentinel Peak
Dose Meadows, an excellent spot along the Dosewallips River, provides many good campsites just 2.3 miles from the base of Sentinel Peak. Bear Camp is another 1.7 miles to the east, but is also within easy day hike distance. Further along the Dosewallips River is Deception Creek camp, about 7 miles from Sentinel Peak.
Major Peaks from Sentinel Summit
|Wellesley Peak||Sentinel's Sister||Anderson Massif||Mt Fromme||Mt Olympus||Mt Deception & Mystery||Mt Cameron & Lost Peak|