Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.53111°N / 123.246°W
Additional Information County: Mason
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6255 ft / 1907 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mount Washington

Mount Washington is one of the most popular and most easily accessed climbs in the Olympic Range. It sits with its 5944 ft neighbor Mt Ellinor high above the shores of Lake Cushman. Washington's summit ridge serves as the boundary for the Mount Skokomish Wilderness boundary.

The view from the summit of Mount Washington (Photo by Gimpilator)
Full Size

Getting There

East Side Routes: From US 101, follow signs for Lake Cushman until FS rd 24 is reached. At the T, turn right on RD 24 for about 1 mile. Turn left on FS RD 2419 and follow it up the Big Creek Drainage to the start of the routes. In the winter, this road may be blocked 2-3 miles from the trailhead.

North/West Side Routes: From US 101, take FS RD 25 towards the Hama Hama Recreation Area. Just after the Hama Hama campground, cross the river and follow the signs for Elk Lakes. From the lakes, take FS RD 2401 to its end.

Most routes begin directly off the roads with minimal approach required (amount of bushwhacking varies...)

Red Tape

Mt Washington is within the Olympic National Forest, so there is no entrance or camping fee. A Northwest Forest Pass is not needed unless parking at the Mt Ellinor trailhead.


Camping is allowed anywhere within the National Forest. The Hama Hama, Elk Lake, and Jefferson Lake campgrounds all fill up fast with fishermen and hunters so don't count on getting a spot.


There are established routes up almost every climbable aspect of Mt Washington. These routes vary from low class 3 climbs to chossy 5th class technical climbs. If you plan to attempt any route, regardless of its rating, make sure you are well versed in basic mountaineering skills (ice ax use, etc...) and navigation.

Route Difficulty Notes
Route 1 I, 3 This is the standard route and can become crowded on a nice day. Wear your helmet!
Surprise Couloir II, 4 Best climbed early in season. Two tools and rock protection are advised
Route 2 I, 3 Climbs east side of peak
Winter Direct II, AI-1 Only climbed when snow covered. Bring 2 tools and rock and ice pro. Always check the local avalanche forecast!
Southeast Ridge III, 5.7 See the Olympic Mountain Climbing Guide by Olympic Mountain Rescue for in depth details on this route. TR with excellent beta
East Ridge II, 4  
Northeast Ridge I, 3 Use the Jefferson Creek approach. This route involves extensive bushwhacking and is rarely done
Northeast Face II, 3 Ascends between the NE and N ridges
Great Groove II, 4 Climb a dry waterfall on the NE Face before intersecting the NE face route
North Ridge - Diagonal Snowfield II, 4 Same approach as the Great Groove
North Ridge - Yellow Cedar II, 4  
North-Northwest Face II, 3  
Shangri-La Valleye II, 3 Sometimes Combined with a traverse over to Mt Ellinor
Southwest Snowfield II, 3  

*If you have any specific route info, feel free to let me know so it can be added to this page (or you could create a separate route page :) )  

Northeast Ridge
Low on the NE Ridge in bad weather
The Upper Basin
The upper basin on Route 1

When to Climb

Mount Washington is regularly climbed in all seasons. Winter eliminates much of the scree and poor quality rock, but snow can greatly increase the approach distance. Usually only the east side routes are climbed in the winter months. Route 1 and Winter Direct are favorites during the winter, often climbed on George Washington's birthday.

Off route...
Winter conditions
Looking Towards Mt Ellinor
View from Route 1 on a beautiful August day

External Links/Resources

Olympic Mountain Rescue
Olympic National Forest
Olympic Mountains: A Climbing Guide This is the only comprehensive climbing guide for the Olympics. Sales help support Olympic Mountain Rescue.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Redwic - Jan 4, 2012 2:16 pm - Voted 10/10

Other things to add...

Mount Washington is... -> The most prominent point in Mason County. -> With 2615' of clean prominence, the peak is the 73rd-most prominent point in the State of Washington. I have re-attached the "Washington Counties - Greatest Prominent Point(s)" list page to this new Mount Washington page. I recommend you notify the page owners of the Washington P2K list page, so they can update their links. Also, please re-attach their list page as a child to this new Mount Washington page.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Olympic Range (WA)Mountains & Rocks