Mount Skokomish Wilderness Area
Year Established: 1984
Size: 13,015 acres
Mount Skokomish Wilderness, one of five sharing a border with Olympic National Park, stands at the southeast corner of the park, just north of Lake Cushman. Here two long ridges, running roughly northeast to southwest, support several bold rocky summits and numerous sharp spires. Elevations range from about 2,000 feet to 6,434 feet on Mount Skokomish itself on the northwest boundary. The northern ridge rises to Mounts Skokomish, Lincoln and Cruiser, and between Lincoln and Cruiser stretches the ragged Sawtooth Ridge, popular for its excellent rock climbing opportunities. The southern ridge includes the summits of Mounts Pershing, Washington, Rose and Elinor, Jefferson Peak and Tran Spire, all interesting and often challenging climbs. Between the ridges lies the headwaters basin of the Hamma Hamma River which gathers its waters from Mildred Lakes and tributary streams in the western portion to flow east across the area.
Magnificent old growth western hemlock, western red cedar and Douglas fir dominate the forest in the lower elevations and provide a home for elk, black-tailed deer, black bears and mountain lions. Higher elevations display firs, pines and dwarf juniper, and open rock faces alive with marmots and mountain goats looking like pockets of old snow.
Most of the area is wild and ruggedly free, penetrated only by four short and wondrously neglected trails. Putvin Trail (3.7 miles) crosses the northeast corner of the Wilderness climbing steeply up Whitehorse Creek to gorgeous Lake of the Angels inside the park. Mildred Lakes Trail (4.5 miles) runs faint and difficult-to-follow to Mildred Lakes below the Sawtooth Ridge. Short, unmaintained trails provide strenuous access to Mounts Rose and Elinor in the southern portion of the area. Lakesides have received abuse, and campfires are not allowed near bodies of water.
Location: Northwestern Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.
Easiest Access: From Hoodsport, WA, take US 101 for 14 miles north; turn west on Forest Service Road 25 up the Hamma Hamma River for 14 miles to the end of the line and the Mildred Lakes Trailhead.
Season: Summer for better access to the peaks.
Wilderness Fees/Permits: None.
Maps: USGS topographic maps are Lightning Peak, Mount Skokomish and Mount Washington.
Olympic National Forest
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512
Phone Number: (360) 956-2402