Cub Peak/ Wagonwheel Lake Trail at Staircase, Olympic National Park
A rugged peak exists in the Southeast corner of the Olympic National Park where few hikers venture to go. The top is ragged in places, with exposed rocks teetering precariously at the top of a 3,000ft drop. Away from the danger, clay, shale and ballast mix together around breathtaking wildflowers and viewpoints of the Skokomish River Valley, the Hamma Hamma River Valley, The Brothers, Mount Constance, Mount Ellinor and Mount Washington. The highlight though might just be the aptly named Sawtooth Range, standing over the Skokomish River Valley and forest, standing up like jagged edges of a logging tool that was spared for this forest. The mountains are magnificent, the wildflowers are beautiful and the view is almost as breathtaking as the trail to get here.
Cub Peak stands at 4,755ft above sea level. While this elevation might not seem to amazing, keep in mind that the 3.3 mile trail starts at almost exactly 4,000ft below. With switchbacks starting right away and never letting up, this is officially one of the most difficult trails in the Olympic Peninsula. With warning signs at the trailhead, it shouldn’t as a shock. When you hike this trail, you will be tired and you will sweat. You will reach the top and you will be rewarded with a view that will make the sore legs fade away.
The route to Cub Peak in the Olympic National Park nearly gives you the entire Olympic National Park rolled into one hike. Starting along the Skokomish River, the trail climbs through dark green, old, dense ferns and forests before going to a High Alpine Lake (Wagon Wheel Lake) surrounded by high cliffs, rounded peaks, rhododendrons and tall trees. Climbing up through scree, you soon reach a small plateau and ridge, full of wildflowers, and giving you a panoramic view few have seen.
Cub Peak is an amazing hike. It is steep and not for beginning climbers, but should be attempted at some point in your life. Climb it and tell me that it isn’t one of the more awesome mountains close to Olympia. That is, after you ice your legs.
Where and How: Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/K4xX9
Located in the Staircase Region of the Olympic National Park this hike is better known as is the Wagonwheel Lake Trail. Follow the trail to Wagonwheel Lake. At the creek, the trail will split. Stay to the left and follow the trail past a few view points for the lake. The trail to Cub Peak is on the left. The path from here is incredibly steep and can be a little difficult to find at times. When in doubt, head up. After about .3 miles and 700 feet, you will come to a plateau and be able to see the rocky summit of Cub Peak.
– Bring Extra Water. Seriously.
– Trekking Poles are recommended
– Bugs will be bad in summer and fall
– Bring a change of shoes and socks for your car.
– Best Season in Mid-Summer.
To do this hike with us, contact us.
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