By Robert Earle Howells

Hike and Climb Mount Olympus

When to Go:
July and August

Round-Trip: 40 Miles, 2 Days

Level: Moderate Backpacking Trip; Challenging Peak Ascent

From the long approach through the old-growth Hoh rain forest to the top-of-the-world alpine summit, this is every inch a majestic climb. The two-day approach is gentle hiking beneath towering cedars and Sitka spruce. Summit day, though, entails 3,000 feet of climbing and a traverse of Blue Glacier (ice ax, crampons, rope, and crevasse rescue gear required)—true alpine mountaineering, but without extreme elevation. The summit stands 7,980 feet high and delivers a view that extends from Mount Rainier to Vancouver Island.

Insider Tip: If you lack alpine mountaineering experience, go with a guiding service such as Mountain Madness (

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