Wonder Mountain Wilderness

A pond in Wonder Mountain Wilderness

Wonder Mountain Wilderness is a 2,349-acre property in Olympic National Forest along the southern boundary of Olympic National Park. The terrain is very rugged with a low elevation around 1,740 feet on McKay Creek and a high elevation of 4,758 feet on the summit of Wonder Mountain.

On the lower slopes the vegetation is a heavy mix of western hemlock, Douglas fir and Pacific silver fir. Upper elevations are given to massive rock outcroppings and sharp pinnacles. Among the mammals on the property are black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, elk, black-tailed deer, marmot, mountain goat and coyote.

There are no constructed trails on Wonder Mountain Wilderness. And the two major access roads are closed every year from October 1 to May 1 to protect the wildlife. All travel inside the wilderness boundary is cross-country "by the seat of your pants"... You'll want a good compass, a good map, perhaps a good GPS device and some skill at route finding. Fires are banned above 3,500 feet and no fires are allowed within 300 feet of any of the ponds or lakes in the wilderness.

With the access so limited and the hiking so difficult, there is very little human traffic on Wonder Mountain Wilderness. But it's a great place to get well away from everything...

A massive rock cliff above a deep forested valley in Wonder Mountain Wilderness
In Wonder Mountain Wilderness
Photos courtesy of the US Forest Service