Mt. Rose in the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness presents a challenge for even the most seasoned hikers. Much of the only trail to its summit, Mt. Rose Trail #814, ascends rather steeply for most of the way. Within a mile of the summit, hikers take a loop path; here they can choose the steeper Summit Route to the left or the longer and slightly more gradual Ridge Route on the right. Along the summit ridge, the trail offers fantastic southern views of Lake Cushman and the Olympic NF peaks on the lake’s southern border. Looking northward on the trail presents glimpses of the popular Mt. Ellinor, as well as Mt. Washington, Mt. Pershing, and other major peaks in the Skokomish Wilderness. For all its difficulty and limited views though, Mt. Rose does beckon some and present opportunities for other hikers.
Some images from my hike up Mt. Rose in the Olympic NF. The weather was fantastic this weekend, but this trail was brutally hard and steep – it rises 3,500 feet over 2.9 miles. It was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve done recently. The views were pleasant at the top. The summit was mostly barren because of a 2005 forest fire. If you need to get in shape for some mountaineering or uphill footraces, I recommend this hike. Otherwise, I might just do it once to say you did and then stick to hiking up Mt. Ellinor. Ellinor offers some much better views. Also, no goats (from what I saw) on Mt. Rose. Stayed tuned at the end of this week for my trail review!