Mount Hopper as seen from the trail leading into the LaCrosse Basin, with the summit of Mount Stone peaking out to the right of it.~August 13, 2004~
Mount Hopper is a lesser climbed peak located north of the head of the Skokomish River and south of the Duckabush River. It's closest neighbors include Mount Stone to the east, Mount Steel to the west, White Mountain to the north and Mount Skokomish to the south. Mount Hopper, although not overly stunning in beauty, like other peaks in the Olympic range, provides a variety of scrambling hikes up it's slopes, as well as a variety of exploration. The Mount Hopper Way Trail is the easiest route up the mountain but can be a route finding difficulty towards the summit. A climber bound for Mount Hopper has many options at his disposal to explore. Hagen Lake can be reached cross country about two miles to the east of the mountain. Lake of the Angels is 2.5 miles south and east. Mt Hopper provides the climber with a chance for a rural climb, as not many climb this noble peak. I personally have enjoyed the route from Lake of the Angels to Mt Hopper, because it offers a wider variety of climbing/cross country skills and wonderful vista's to the north, south and west of the interior Olympics.
Mt Hopper from Stonesthrow Peak
The easiest way to reach the base of Mount Hopper is to backpack up the North Fork of the Skokomish River 12.4 miles to the junction with the Mount Hopper Way Trail. From there its about another 2 miles to the summit of Mount Hopper. However, there are two other routes that are available other then the trail. From Home Sweet Home campsite one can hike straight west up the valley and ascend Hopper. Also a route I've used is to go cross country fom Lake of the Angels, cross down in the valley below Mount Stone and climb the ridge directly to the west of Stone. From here on it's just a ridge hike over to Mount Hopper, a distance of about 2.5 miles from Lake of the Angels. To reach the Staircase trailhead area drive north on U.S. Highway 101 to Hoodsport and turn left at the Lake Cushman Recreation sign and follow the signs to Staircase. Lake of the Angels trailhead is on Forest Road 25 just north of Eldon at the Hamma Hamma River recreational area sign. Turn left there.
SE ridgeline on Mt Hopper
A Wilderness Permit is required for any overnight stay in Olympic National Park. A permit can be picked up at the Staircase Ranger Station north of Lake Cushman near Hoodsport. Five dollars per night per person is the cost. Mount Hopper is usually accessible any time of the year and the Olympics are popular for winter backpacking and climbing. No parking pass is required if you park at Staircase trailhead but if U park at the Putvin Trailhead you will need a forest service permit.
When To Climb
Mount Hopper is in the center and to the right. This shot is from the summit of Mount Skokomish, Hopper's southern neighbor. The other peaks from left to right are: Crystal Peak, White Mountain and Mount LaCrosse. In the Background: West Peak and Mount Anderson, and to the right of Anderson is Diamond Mountain~June 24, 2004~
The best time of year to climb Mount Hopper is late June through early October. Out of season it's not too difficult on the trails, but the cross country route from Lake of the Angels is quite a different story. Snowfields and steep ridges would have to be crossed which are not ideal for winter hiking and climbing. The North Fork of the Skokomish Trailhead is the best route to reach Mount Hopper.
Camping is available at Home Sweet Home just below First Divide on the North Fork of the Skokomish River trail. Five dollars a night per person. There is no sign that says there isn't any overnight camping on Hopper. Go for it!