Let's enjoy one of the most awesome non-technical climbs around, some great views and maybe see some mountain goats.
Speaking of which, if you're not familiar with goat trail etiquette please visit the following page and view the video.
Pace: The pace is going to be slow allowing for plenty of photographs and rest stops (and for gasping for breath)
Round Trip Distance: 6.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3200 feet
Maximum Elevation: 5944
What to bring: In addition to your 10 essentials, plenty of snacks, food and WATER!
Bring some cash for Mexican food in Hoodsport on the way back.
Carpool Info: We will determine the best meeting place once we see who is signed up.
Cost: donate to drivers cost of gas/wear and tear on vesicle and driver (varies according to vehicle and number of occupants) Permit: No permit required at lower trailhead
Map: Green Trails Mt Steel No. 167 and The Brothers No. 168, Custom Correct Mount Skokomish-Lake Cushman
From Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula by Craig Romano
An Olympic classic-bag this peak for one of the most supreme views this side of Hood Canal. From the jagged summit peer deep into the heart of the Olympic wilderness or out across Lake Cushman and Puget Sound to the Cascades spanning the eastern horizon. All of this comes at a price, however-the trail to Ellinor is steep and tough.
Yes, there is an upper trailhead that shortens this hike by 3 miles and knocks 900 feet of elevation off. But why start there? The whole idea is to go hiking, not get to the mountain the shortest way possible. By beginning on the lower trailhead you get a chance to warm up for a very steep ascent, and you get to enjoy one of the finest old-growth groves this side of Copper Creek. Plus you get 1.5 miles of quiet hiking, avoiding the crowds flocking to the upper trailhead.
Begin by immediately entering a cool forest of old-growth hemlock and Douglas-fir. As the trail skirts the edges of old clear-cuts, teaser views promise what lies ahead. In about 0.5 mile the trail from Big Creek comes in from the left (the long, long way up Ellinor). Ascending steadily, the trail winds 1 mile up a heavily forested ridge to meet the upper trail at 3900 feet. The trail right descends 400 feet to meet the upper trailhead in 0.3 mile.
Now, hopefully warmed up and limber, prepare for some serious work. The incline gets steeper while the terrain gets rougher. At 2.5 miles (4600 feet) trees yield to meadows and views begin. But to quote the late not-so-great 1970s rock band, BTO, "B-b-baby, you ain't seen nothing yet!"
The winter climbing route veers right. Continue left, ascending open meadows and rocky gardens. Years ago, going beyond this point was a tricky scramble. But thanks to the hard work of the Mount Rose Volunteer Trail Crew a trail was carved into the steep mountain face, making the ascent much safer and more manageable.
Continue huffing and puffing, traversing a very steep slope. Now just a short distance from your objective, clamber north up a rocky ridge until finally, at 3.1 miles from and nearly two-thirds of a mile above the lower trailhead, reach Ellinor's magnificent summit. Wipe your brow, gulp some water, and prepare to be wowed. One mile directly below is Lake Cushman, rippling waters shining right back at you. Lots of saltwater twinkles below too, with Puget Sound and Hood Canal clearly visible. The Cascades fill the eastern horizon, with Rainier dominating the show. Percolating St. Helens is visible to the south.
Turn your attention north and westward to a diorama of jagged Olympic peaks. Washington, Pershing, and Stone, like a lineup of generals, flank Ellinor to the north. Lincoln, Cruiser, Gladys, and Copper guard her to the west. Gaze down into the vertigo-inducing Jefferson Creek valley and spot an inviting but isolated pond. You can sit on this summit for hours learning much about western Washington's geography. *** 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. 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.