Mount Storm King Trail, Lake Crescent - Storm King Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Mount Storm King Trail - 3.8 miles
Lake Crescent - Storm King Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.8 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||625' - 2,405' (2,405' max elevation at end of maintained trail)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,780' net elevation gain (+1,794' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Mount Storm King Trail - 3.8 Miles Round-Trip
Mount Storm King (4,525') is located on the south shore of Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. The Storm King Trail climbs 1780' in just 1.9 miles up the north face of Mount Storm King to a series of outcrops with panoramic views over the lake. Unmaintained routes continue up precarious terrain to the true summit.
The trail begins at the Mount Storm King Ranger Cabin, the oldest standing log structure in Olympic National Park. Chris Morgenroth, a German immigrant and well-known historical figure in the Park, built the cabin in 1903 - 1904 with Paul Laufield, another Park Ranger.
The trail heads south and passes under Highway 101 to the Storm King Trail - Marymere Falls split (.45 miles : 720'). This initial stretch runs on a wide, level path lined by massive fir and cedar trees and a verdant understory with large, decaying nurse logs.
The Storm King Trail veers left (east) and climbs 1700' in under 1.5 miles to the end of the maintained trail (1.9 miles : 2,405'). A sign is posted warning visitors not to go past this point.
Numerous spurs lead off the main trail on the final .4 miles to great views across Lake Crescent, Pyramid Peak and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Be careful on these slippery spurs and outcrops, which tread over precipitous drop-offs.
- N48 03.494 W123 47.336 — 0.0 miles: Storm King Trailhead at Lake Crescent
- N48 03.212 W123 47.401 — 0.55 miles: Split left on Storm King Trail
- N48 03.301 W123 46.570 — 1.9 miles: End of Maintained Trail
- Lake Crescent lies in the Olympic Mountains rain shadow. While Olympic rainforests on the west side of the park may receive up to 150" of rain per year, forests on the north and east sides see less than 60".
- Geological records suggest that landslides from surrounding mountains 7,000 years ago divided what was once a larger lake into two separate lakes - Lake Crescent and neighboring Lake Sutherland.
- As a result of this closure to the sea, Lake Crescent has evolved a population of landlocked sockeye called Kokanee. They spend their entire lives in the lake and are smaller than their anadromous relative.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Camping is permitted along the Mt Storm King Trail and Barnes Creek Trail (restrictions along the lake shore apply).
Camping within Olympic National Park:
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for the Sol Duc - Seven Lakes Basin area. 50% of sites can be reserved in advance. The other 50% is available first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance.
- Permits for quota areas must be picked up at the WIC, or a staffed ranger station during business hours.
- There's a $5 registration fee per group, plus $2 per person per night (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange advance pickup.
- Reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance.
- Camping is permitted only in designated sites. Deviation from your permit itinerary is not allowed, except in emergencies.
- Campsites are not individually assigned, and available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis. Groups of 7-12 people must camp in designated group sites within quota areas.
- Campfires are not permitted above 3500', and where specified.
- Food Storage and Bear Canisters: All food and scented items must be secured 24 hours a day. Park- approved bear canisters are required in the Sol Duc - Seven Lakes Basin.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Storm King Trailhead (aka Marymere Falls Trailhead) is located 18.75 miles west of Port Angeles at the Storm King Ranger Station in Olympic National Park.
From the west end of Port Angeles, drive 18.7 miles west on US 101 to the Storm King Ranger Station exit on the right (along the shore of Lake Crescent).
Turn right, and follow signs immediately right again into the large parking area. The trail begins near the Storm King Ranger Cabin and leads under Highway 101.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office