Jupiter Ridge Trail- Lower Forested Terrain
Mount Jupiter, also known as Jupiter Ridge, is a significant peak found on the eastern side of the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. Although shorter (5700' elevation) in comparison to it taller neighbor peak "The Brothers" (6842' elevation), its closer proximity location to Puget Sound can give the illusion of being similar in size to its taller neighbor peak when viewed from various locations on the east side of Puget Sound. The summit was once home to a fire lookout, which has long since vanished. Only one small remnant of the fire lookout remains embedded in the summit rocks.
The summit of Mount Jupiter is reached via the Jupiter Ridge Trail #809, which is 7.1 miles (each way) and follows the top of the long west-east ridgeline of the mountain. The Jupiter Ridge Trail is very easy to follow, and passes through Olympic National Forest and The Brothers Wilderness. The last 1.5 miles of the trail steeply climbs rocky terrain and gains 1750' elevation. On a clear day, other major Olympic peaks, such as The Brothers and Mount Constance, can be seen from the summit and ridgeline.
Jupiter Ridge Trail- Upper Rocky Terrain
The lower ridgeline of the mountain is forested, while the upper ridgeline of the mountain is rocky and rugged. Wildflowers are abundant on the mountain slopes, with June possibly being the best month to see (most notably) beargrass, rhododendron, lupine, and Indian paintbrush. Animals are also abundant on the mountain, including elk, deer, pika, cougar, black bear, and mountain goat. Sooty grouse are commonly heard making their infamous "whoomping" calls during late Spring/ early Summer.
Northeast of the summit, and 1200' elevation lower, the Jupiter Lakes (4500' elevation) are located. No official trail leads down to the lakes, which are surrounded by steep, rugged slopes, and only those people with high mountaineering/rock-climbing expertise and technical abilities should attempt the traverse to the lakes (if at all). Jupiter Lakes can be seen from a couple of locations along the upper ridgeline of Mount Jupiter.
Former U.S. Commander Wilkes named the mountain ridge in 1841. It is believed by many people that Wilkes' intent was to provide the ridge with a name from Greco-Roman mythology, just as had been previously done for Mount Olympus (also located in the Olympic Mountains range).
1) Along the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, travel Highway 101 to Mount Jupiter Road (some maps might call it Forest Road #2610-010), located approximately two miles south of Brinnon and approximately 22 miles north of Hoodsport.
2) Follow Mount Jupiter Road for 2.5 miles to the junction with Forest Road #2610-11. There are no signs at the junction, but follow the left fork, which is the obvious main road (Forest Road #2610-11).
NOTE: Just north of this intersection is a wildlife gate along the main road. The gate is closed and locked between October 1 and May 1 every year, and possibly also during times of inclement weather. It is advised to check with the local ranger station (Quilcene Ranger District) to check conditions prior to visiting. If the gate is locked, pack at the road intersection and walk the remaining 2.5 miles to the Jupiter Ridge trailhead.
3) If the wildlife gate is open along Forest Road #2610-11, drive 2.5 miles to the Jupiter Ridge trailhead. Parking areas are limited.
Jupiter Ridge Trail Description
Jupiter Ridge Trailhead: 0.0 miles, 2000' elevation
Olympic National Forest Boundary: 1.0 miles, 2850' elevation
The Brothers Wilderness Boundary: 5.6 miles, 3950' elevation
Mount Jupiter Summit: 7.1 miles, 5701' elevation
Red TapeForest Road #2610-11 has a wildlife gate, which is locked from October 1 to May 1. The gate is also commonly closed during times of high fire danger. When the gate is locked, you must hike the 011 spur 2.5 miles to the Mount Jupiter trailhead.
Due to the steep, rugged, winding terrain, small road width, and very few places to turn around, no trailers or motorhomes are allowed to drive Mount Jupiter Road or Forest Road #2610-11.
Hiking groups are not allowed to have more than 12 people and/or 8 livestock within The Brothers Wilderness area.
No "Northwest Forest Pass" is currently required at the trailhead, but is highly advised.
Because the Jupiter Ridge Trail follows the top of the ridgeline, no water sources are available along the route. Bring plenty of water/liquids.
Camping is allowed in the Olympic National Forest, The Brothers Wilderness, and Olympic National Park.
Several rugged camping and bivy sites are located at various locations along the Jupiter Ridge Trail. One very small campsite is even located just below the summit of Mount Jupiter along the trail.
No campfires are allowed above 3500' elevation. Campfires are only allowed in designated locations.
Check rules and restrictions with the Quilcene Ranger District prior to arrival.