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Elk Mountain, WA - July 2020

KJ7EHA's picture
Summit: 
W7W/NO-035
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
AT&T
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Elk Mountain is in the Olympic National Park and accessible from a well-maintained forest service road named Obstruction Point Road. The road is not open all year, so check park conditions before you go. The summit is attainable by taking the Obstruction Point Trail and then making the easy traverse up to the base of a large rock formation. A quick stairstep up the rocks brings you to the summit. Total hike from parking to summit is about 1.5 miles.

It is a 20-mile drive from Port Angeles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, just before you get to the Visitor Center, take a sharp, nearly 180-degree left turn onto the dirt road.  In 2020, there was a $30 fee for a motor vehicle to enter the park.

Once on Obstruction Point road, proceed 7.5 miles to the end of the road where there is parking area and pit toilet. On the day of my July activation I saw normal clearance passenger cars at the parking area of the trailhead. The parking area was full when I got there, but there is lots of auxiliary parking along the road. No pets are allowed on the trail! Take the trail straight ahead and it will descend slightly for nearly ½ mile, then will climb and turn east (see picture).

On my way up I left the trail a bit too early and had to traverse the ridgeline.  The SOTA summit is back behind the rock you initially see from the trail.  I suggest leaving the trail near N47.92457° W123.36308° which I marked on my way down.  Note that the SOTA summit is different then the summit identified on topo maps.

Note about cellular coverage.  I have AT&T service, but was picking up stronger signals from Canada and ended getting charged international service since I have it set to automatically do that. Be careful of your cell phone settings!

I posted summit pictures on https://sotl.as/summits/W7W/NO-035. They show the look back towards the parking area at the trail head.  Below are pictures of the trail on the way up.

Other SOTA summits off of Obstruction Point Road are: Eagle Point (http://www.pnwsota.org/blog/wa7jnj/2020-july-05/eagle-point-wa-july-2020) and 5645 – Hurricane Ridge (http://www.pnwsota.org/blog/kj7eha/2020-august-04/summit-5645hurricane-ridge-july-2020).

 

 

Pictures: 
GPS track and elevation gain info
View of trail
WildflowersOnTraverseToSummit
FinalElkMtnStairsStepToSummit