Mount Skokomish Wilderness

Mount Skokomish Wilderness boundary sign

Mount Skokomish Wilderness is a 13,015-acre property located in the southeastern section of Olympic National Forest with Olympic National Park immediately to the west. With elevations ranging from 800 feet near Lake Cushman to 6,612 feet on the summit of Mt. Stone, it's obvious that this is a very steep, rugged, mountainous area. There are barren ridges and multiple steep-faced rock outcroppings throughout the wilderness. The only major stream on Mount Skokomish Wilderness is the Hamma Hamma River. The most popular destination in the wilderness is probably the Mildred Lakes area.

Mount Skokomish Wilderness primarily consists of two long and rocky ridges that traverse roughly northeast to southwest, and the headwaters basin between them. The ridges are a mix of rocky summits and sharp spires offering some excellent and challenging rock climbing opportunities.

Vegetation on Mount Skokomish Wilderness begins in the lower areas with western red cedar, western hemlock and Douglas fir, rises through the subalpine firs and western white pine into the alpine region of open meadows, krummholz and naked rock. Among the mammals in the wilderness are black-tailed deer, elk, mountain lion, mountain goat, black bear and marmot.

There are about 15 miles of trail in Mount Skokomish Wilderness with most folks using the 4.5-mile extremely steep Mildred Lakes Trail to get into the heart of the wilderness. There are also trails to the summits of Mount Rose and Mount Ellinor in the south while another trail crosses the northern part of the wilderness to enter Olympic National Park. There are no trails in the wilderness rated at less than "most difficult." To pass most trailheads you'll need to have a Northwest Forests Recreation Permit in your possession. Open fires are banned above 3,500 feet and no fires are allowed in the Mildred Lakes area (stoves only). One thing to be aware of: the trails have all been long neglected and are now overgrown and hard to follow.

Hiking in Mount Skokomish Wilderness
Hiking in Mount Skokomish Wilderness
Photos courtesy of the US Forest Service