The Obstruction Point area is full of wildflowers come late summer
Elk Mountain is a "lesser" peak within Olympic National Park. [I say "lesser" only because it is not very well known or a sought after summit; at 6764' it is by no means lesser among the Olympics!] It is best accessed from the Obstruction Point Trailhead and is a relatively simple two mile hike from the parking lot. While not a major snowcapped peak like many around, Elk mountain affords absolutely spectacular views of the Olympic interior and Mount Olympus and is well worth the relatively easy hike to gain the summit.
The Mount Olympus Massif as seen from the summit.
The summit of Elk Mtn. can be seen in the foreground (left), while Mount Olympus lurks in the distance...(center right)
The best way to reach Elk Mountain is from the Obstruction Point trailhead, a popular starting point for people heading into the Olympic interior. To get there, one must drive along the Obstruction Point road, which branches off of the Hurricane Ridge Road near the visitor center. At a little over 8 miles, the road is not for the faint of heart. Come prepared for a thrill ride, of sorts! Be sure to have working brakes, and a stomach for steep dropoffs next the road. The road has unrivaled views, however, and is "perfectly safe" [as a ranger told me, immediately after telling me that the road was "really scary" when asked about it] From the Trailhead, one simply needs to follow the signs towards Deer Park. Elk mountain is on the left/north side of the trail about 1.8 miles or so from the trailhead, and is a short scramble from the trail.
The hike may be a relatively short one, but the views are incredible! [Have I stated that yet...?] It takes place entirely above treeline, as the Obstruction Point parking area is at 6100'. So, the trail only gains 664' over roughly 2 miles, which makes for a nice easy hike that affords spectacular views into pure untamed Olympic glory. Once atop the peak, one could easily sit for hours and soak it all in...
[Trust me, I have!]
Alternately, one could reach Elk Mountain from the Deer Park trailhead. Elk Mtn. is about 5.5 miles from this trailhead.
The above snapshots give a good idea of what some parts of the Obstruction Point Road are like.
The only red tape is the entrance fee into Olympic National Park [$15 for a week; $30 for a year; $80 will get you into any National Park or Recreation Area for a year]
This movie was shot on the summit of Elk Mtn. It begins facing west towards Mt. Olympus and pans southward into the heart of the Olympics before ending with the nearby Maiden Peak: