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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Mount Ellinor

Full Ellinor hike starting from Big Creek campground down low, all the way to the top. Gorgeous fall weather, fantastic views of the Olympics and way too many people on top.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail is in excellent shape thanks to the Mt. Rose trail crew, who were out working on the trail today, adding more stairs. New since the last time I was up Ellinor in 2016, the upper trail above the boulder field has lots of nice stairs.

    Lower sections of the trail in the forest are in excellent shape.  Only the boulder field is really challenging but even it is pretty good.  Solid rock steps held in place with rebar.

Why cheat and start at the upper or middle trailheads when you can climb Ellinor the old fashioned way, from bottom to top?  We started at the Big Creek Campground, located at the junction of Lake Cushman road and FS 24.  Campground was closed but we were able to park at the gate.  The trail goes around the campground, crosses Big Creek (not very big today) and then starts heading uphill, more or less following the ridge that runs southeast from the top of Mt. Ellinor.  This is a longer route, 12 miles and 5000' of gain, that intersects with the middle and upper trail access points from FS 2419.  

People were sparse until the junction with the upper trailhead, then it got very crowded. 

Trail is in great shape and easy to follow.  Lots of southern sun exposure on this warm fall day and the trail was completely dry (unlike last time when it was pouring down rain).  Great views into the Olympics, including Mt. Olympus, plus Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, Hood Canal.

Given how busy it was, I'd recommend this hike for a week day if you don't want crowds, off leash dogs, etc.