Mount Deception

Although unseen from Seattle, Mount Deception is the second highest peak in the Olympics. It's a very strenuous and challenging scramble from the Dosewallips River Road.


The Dosewallips Road leaves US 101 north of Brinnon and travels to the temporary road closure (9.2 mi, 600 ft).

APPROACH & ascent

Travel the temporary trail around the road obstruction for ~0.5 mile (and a 200-foot elevation gain and loss) to rejoin the Dosewallips Road (645 ft). Hike the road passing the Lake Constance trail (4 mi, 1,450 ft) and reaching the end of the road and the Dosewallips Ranger Station (5.5 mi, 1,600 ft). Hike the Dosewallips River trail to Dose Forks (6.9 miles, 1,736 ft). Take the Main Fork Dosewalllips River trail north to reach a campsite near Cub Creek (12.9 mi, 3,200 ft). This campsite is 0.5 mile below Camp Marion, and 1.2 miles below the Gray Wolf Pass Trail.

Ascend the ridge separating Cub Creek and Deception Creek to alpine meadows. At about 5,500 ft, bear diagonally right (northeast) off the ridge, a long but easy talus and broken rock slope leads to the summit. Time: 6 hours from the trail.

Alternate Route from Gray Wolf Pass: Climb 3.5 miles from the Dosewallips River trail to Gray Wolf Pass (6,150 ft). Traverse east from the pass in alpine meadows on the south side of the ridge for ~3 miles to where standard route is joined in alpine meadows. Time: 4 hr up from Gray Wolf Pass.


Descend the standard route for ~1 mi to reach the ridge separating Cub Creek and Deception Creek at ~5,500 ft. Traverse west for ~1 mile to reach Gray Wolf Pass (6,150 ft). Descend the Gray Wolf Pass trail south for 3.5 miles to rejoin the Dosewallips River trail (3,600 ft), and then hike the remaining 1.2 miles back to camp at 3,200 ft. Time: 3 hours from summit to camp.


  • This scramble is best done in three days.
  • Mileage: 30 mi on trail, 5 mi off trail, and 35 mi total
  • Elevation Gain : 3,000 feet on trail, 5,000 feet off trail, and 8,000 feet total
  • Camp near the junction with Gray Wolf Pass Trail to simplify a longer trip that includes Wellesley & Sentinel Peaks and Thousand Acre Meadows.
  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 5
  • Length: 35.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 8,000 ft
  • 7,788 ft
  • Land Manager: Olympic National Park
    Buckhorn Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Default Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S
  • Custom Correct Gray Wolf - Dosewallips
  • USGS Wellesley Peak
  • USGS Mt Deception
  • Red Marker
    47.738849, -123.073332
    47.7388485996 -123.07333231
  • Red Marker
    47.813146, -123.233506
    47.8131462 -123.2335065

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