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Mt. Townsend

 LAST MINUTE STUFF.... PLEASE READ!!!

If anybody has a printer can you please print off a few copies of the directions below for me... can you let me know your able to do that so I can save myself a trip to Kinkos... 

We'll figure out the carpooling when we get to Home Depot..  It's to hard to try and organize it on here..  Just be at the Home Depot by 8am and we'll get to the trailhead.  I know I'm driving and I believe Luchia said she can drive...

 This goes for everyone...If you have a pass bring it, if you can drive plan on it although you may not have to.  Don't Forget to bring cash for your drivers gas money and the wear and tear on their vehicle/mileage  $15.00.....

BRING A LOT OF WATER, it is a dry trail.  WE ARE STARTING FROM THE UPPER TRAILHEAD FOR THOSE OF YOU  CARPOOLING FROM OLYMPIA, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.. 

 Please be prepared with the proper clothing/boots and 10 essentials... expect a full day, we will most likely stop for something to eat on the way home so bring money. 

 It's supposed to be a beautiful day so bring sunscreen, hat, camera, lunch, snacks, WATER,  and all your positive energy.. 

Some people hike faster than others which is fine but I'm on the SLOWER side and I take a lot of photos.  It's ok to split up into different paced groups but NOBODY hikes alone.  If there are any junctions the faster group will wait until the slower group catches up, this is for safety.  I've never hiked this trail before so this is new for me too.

 There are MANY of you I've never hiked with before so some of this may sound obvious but I've had people show up in jeans and tennis shoes. 

I will be at the Renton park and ride at 7am and then head to the Home Depot to meet up with everyone else.  I believe there are 3 of you carpooling from Olympia, if that is not the case please let me know and please allow for traffic, I hope I'm giving myself enough time to get to the Home Depot from Renton.. I probably should have started later since I don't get off work until 2:30 am but it's too late to change now. lol

If you aren't going to make this hike PLEASE change you RSVP.... I'm pretty hard-core about the NO SHOWS... If you no show, you will not join one of my hikes again..... I would rather have you cancel at Midnight...  

Come prepared and lets have a great 4th of July... : )

South Renton Park and Ride @ 7am

South Renton Park & Ride, 205 S 7th St, Renton, WA 98057

Across the street from Mc Donalds and Applebees on Grady.... I'll be in a white Toyota Rav

Any questions feel free to ask....

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To HOME DEPOT from I5 South.


8. Take exit 132B for Washington 16 W toward Bremerton

0.7 mi
9. Keep left to continue on WA-16 W


1.5 mi
10. Take exit 1C for Center St toward Fircrest


0.4 mi
11. Sharp left onto Center St 

Destination will be on the right ......

------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From Home Depot to Penny Creek Road

12. Head west on Center St toward S Gove St


0.3 mi
13. Turn right onto S Orchard St


0.6 mi
14. Turn right onto S 19th St


456 ft
15. Turn left onto N Orchard St



16. Turn left to merge onto WA-16 W toward Bremerton


8.Continue onto WA-3 N25.1 mi

9.Turn left onto WA-104 W11.2 mi

10.Turn right onto Center-Sr104 Loop0.1 mi

11.Turn right onto Center Rd8.1 mi

12.Turn right toward US-101 S82 ft

13.Turn left onto US-101 S

Right onto Penny Creek Road

 Follow Penny Creek Road for 1.4 miles staying left at the "Y", continue to the forest boundary and paved Forest Service Road 27. Proceed on Forest Service Road 27 for about 12 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 190. Follow Forest Service Road 190 one mile to the small trailhead parking lot at the end of the road.



Townsend is difficult

Statistics Roundtrip 8.2 miles

Elevation Gain2900 ft

Highest Point 6280 ft



One of the most hiked summits in the Olympics, and it's easy to see why this peak is so popular. Easy access, a long hiking season, and unparalleled views of Puget Sound and the eastern half of the Olympics give Mount Townsend quite an edge. Of the three trails leading to its summit, Trail No. 839 is the route most taken. It's not the shortest way, but it offers incredible biological diversity and one of the best built and maintained trails in the Buckhorn Wilderness.

Most hikers intent on reaching the 6280-foot open summit opt to begin their journey from the upper trailhead. This saves 1.2 miles and 600 feet of elevation gain, but at the expense of missing a beautiful old-growth forest and Sink Lake, a small body of water that causes tumbling Townsend Creek to disappear.

If you opt to skip the glories of the old growth, start from the upper trailhead (elev. 3400 ft). the well-worn path climbs steadily through a stately grove of fir and hemlock adorned with Pacific rhododendrons. In 0.5 mile the trail enters the Buckhorn Wilderness. Soon afterward the terrain opens up and the views begin. Through flower gardens and by cascading creeks the trail pushes toward the clouds. Over two dozen switchbacks will keep you heading in the right direction: that's up!

At 2.5 miles come to a small pine and fir grove nestled on a knoll, where tiny (and in season, buggy) Windy Lake is hidden just off the trail. Continue onward, passing the Silver Lakes Trail junction at 3 miles (elev. 5500 ft) and leaving the trees behind. As you ascend higher on Townsend's slopes, alpine tundra rolls out.

After another 0.5 mile of climbing from the Silver Lakes turnoff, reach the expansive and open summit plateau. Ground-hugging juniper and brilliant clumps of cinquefoil and phlox carpet this high country. Amble 0.5 mile farther, yielding to eagles and angels. A short side trail leads right to the mountain's highest point.

Puget Sound with its labyrinth of islands, bays, and channels sprawls below. Watch ferries ply azure waters. Gaze out at the Seattle skyline to glass and metal twinkling in the afternoon sunlight. A fortress of Cascade peaks, punctuated by the snowy volcanoes, occupies the eastern horizon. To the north lie Dungeness Spit, Discovery Bay, the San Juan Islands, and Vancouver Island. To the west, nothing but pure Olympic wilderness-jagged peaks and deep green valleys. It should be apparent why this peak remains so well-loved.

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Contact: Hood Canal Ranger District – Quilcene Office, (360) 765-2200.

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Getting there: From Quilcene drive US 101 south for 1.5 miles. (From Shelton follow US 101 north for 50.5 miles.)  Turn right (west) onto Penny Creek Road. 

 Follow Penny Creek Road for 1.4 miles staying left at the "Y", continue to the forest boundary and paved Forest Service Road 27. Proceed on Forest Service Road 27 for about 12 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 190. Follow Forest Service Road 190 one mile to the small trailhead parking lot at the end of the road.


Useful Links:

7-Day Weather Forecast

Mt. Townsend Trail #839

WTA Hiking Guide and Trip Reports

Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service.  Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience.  Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level.  You may join us on this hike at your own risk.  Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains.  You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.  Signing up for any Trailside organized event indicates that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all Trailside Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.

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  • Chong L.

    It certainly is a beautiful trail with pretty flowers.

    1 · July 6, 2014

  • Teresa

    Lorri - Thank you for hosting this hike - the flowers were pretty - not so much the view. That is how things go in the NW! A wonderful group of women on this hike !

    2 · July 5, 2014

  • Suzanne

    Lovely group of women, and beautiful hike - even in the fog. Hope to see you all again.

    2 · July 5, 2014

  • Tamara

    Really nice group of people and good workout! Thank you for organizing.

    1 · July 4, 2014

  • Lucia C C.

    Great workout! A bite of clear out but the trail was great. Awesome hikers! Thanks for organizing it!

    1 · July 4, 2014

  • Lena

    It was nice to see so many flowers! We even got some view during the hike :) thank you for organizing !

    1 · July 4, 2014

  • Teresa

    My cell # is: [masked]

    July 4, 2014

  • Tamara

    May be a couple min late. Hit traffic

    July 4, 2014

  • Teresa

    I am coming from Olympia. Is anyone else mtg in Olympia?

    July 1, 2014

    • Teresa

      Lena - I will meet u at Hagen

      July 2, 2014

    • Lena

      Ok, great. 8 am :)

      July 2, 2014

  • Suzanne

    Where is Hagen?

    July 2, 2014

    • Lena

      It's Top Food. They renamed the shop recently

      July 2, 2014

  • Suzanne

    Thanks for the info, Lorri. What time do you want the Olympia crew to meet you at the trailhead? It looks like about a two-hour drive from Oly. Teresa and Lena, where shall we meet? I live on the east side, near downtown.

    July 1, 2014

    • Teresa

      Suzanne - I may have to follow you and Lena, as I have plans for the night (July 4th), and won't be able to stop after the hike.

      July 1, 2014

    • Lena

      I would love to meet at Hagen. As driving time is the same from Tacoma and Olympia, we can meet at 8 am. I also prefer to go back right after hike as I have plans.

      July 1, 2014

  • Chong L.

    Hi Lorri,

    I will print out 4 copies of the map (From the section where it says: From Home Depot to Penny Creek Road. Looking forward to meeting all of you and the hike on a beautiful day.

    July 1, 2014

  • Teresa

    Lorri - I am able to copy directions - see you on Fri.!

    July 1, 2014

  • Chong L.

    Hi folks. I have just got my hike confirmed. May I ride with someone?

    July 1, 2014

  • KiWa

    Hi, Lorri, I will see you @7AM.

    June 30, 2014

  • Lena

    I am coming from Olympia; not sure if it's better for me to go to TH. What time do you plan to be at trailhead?

    June 29, 2014

  • Donnie

    Sorry family stuff has come up can't go now sorry

    June 29, 2014

  • Edna R.

    Lorri i would also like to park & ride with you at south renton if its possible, coming from capitol hill so its closer :)

    June 26, 2014

    • Edna R.

      at what time are we planing to get back?

      June 26, 2014

  • KiWa

    Coming from Bellevue. I would like to carpool from Renton if I get in. Thanks !

    June 16, 2014

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