Hiking Mount Walker in January

January 2, 2016/Jonathan Rundle/4 Comments

In search of some snow, incredible views, and a challenging first hike for my dog Graham, today we’re hiking Mount Walker in Olympic National Forest. Climbing 2,000 feet in 2 miles, grades up to 25% lead to amazing views of Rainier and the Seattle skyline with a few surprises thrown in on the clearest of days (like today!).

Hiking up Mount Walker

Graham was very enthusiastic all day and is in much better shape than I am. He pulled me all the way up and would get impatient with me when I took too long of a break.

Hiking up Mount Walker

The trail gets quite steep and slippery the more you head up the mountain. We were looking for snow and once we hit it, the trail got a lot more interesting.

Hiking up Mount WalkerHiking up Mount Walker

The Summit

When you reach the summit, your thighs will be burning but the views are worth the effort. The trail finishes at the north viewpoint, featuring views of the Olympics, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and even into British Columbia on a day like today.

Mount Walker in JanuaryMount Walker in JanuaryMount Baker from Mount WalkerMount Walker in January

The north end of the eastern Olympic mountain range – Constance, Warrior, Welch Peaks, and Townsend.

Olympics from Mount Walker

From the north viewpoint, you’ll walk along the service road leading to the south viewpoint.

Hiking Mt. Walker in JanuaryHiking Mt. Walker in January

From this viewpoint, you’ll see Seattle, the Cascades, and all three south peaks (Rainier, Adams, and St. Helens).

Mount Rainier from Mount Walker

I couldn’t believe the visibility today. St. Helens and Adams are over 120 miles away as the bird flies.

Mount St. Helens from Mount WalkerMount Adams from Mount Walker

Speaking of the birds, there were quite a few fluttering around – much to Graham’s bemusement.

Mount Walker birdMount Walker birdDog at Mount Walker

Looking back to Seattle – I’m reminded it’s time to get moving again and start hiking Mount Walker the other way – down!

Seattle from Mount Walker

To get back to your car, it’s either back to the steep trail or hike the much less-graded forest road down. We took the trail because it was faster and the shadows were growing ever longer. Some people hike up with skis and then ski down the road. That would be pretty great, I admit.

Hiking Mt. Walker in January

See also: Summer at Mount Walker

I’ve come up here many times via motorcycle. But when the road is closed, you have to work for these views.

For all the info you need on Hiking Mount Walker (or driving to the top), visit the website on the Olympic National Forest website.

Comments (4)

  • AnaMaria . February 26, 2020 . Reply

    What a great review…doing the trail on Friday and our group used your review to get us excited about the hike!!! Thanks!

    • (Author) Jonathan Rundle . February 28, 2020 . Reply

      Thanks so much! You’ll love it!

  • Jill Batterby . February 25, 2020 . Reply

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures!!!

    • (Author) Jonathan Rundle . February 25, 2020 . Reply

      Certainly – thank you for visiting!

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