The top of Mt. Walker boasts two incredible viewpoints – one looking to Mt. Rainier, the Olympics and Seattle – the other looks north to Mt. Baker. We visited on our motorcycles on a fantastically clear day.
Getting to Mt. Walker is easy. The roads are paved all the way to the trail head and you get to cross the lovely Hood Canal. Once you get to Mt. Walker it can be busy, especially in the parts where the curves are blind and the road can only fit one car.
We happened to make our way up the mountain without any oncoming traffic, but on the way down Seattle’s finest WRX club was seemingly running an unofficial Pike’s Peak Hill Climb. Just close the visor and nevermind the dust.
The road gets twisty near the top and the shoulder of the road disappears, too. Be careful – it’s a long way down. Of course, all of these things make for an exciting trip and the views, well I’ll let them speak for themselves.
Mt. Walker is densely covered with 100 year-old Douglas-fir trees that have grown up in an area once burned by wildfire. Native Pacific rhododendrons grow along the road and at both North and South observation points. The large flowers are bright purplish-pink and bloom May to June. Mt. Walker is the only peak facing Puget Sound that has a road to its summit.
If you’re going to points west, it’s a pretty easy addition to your trip and comes highly recommended.