Climbing Mount Olympus

Climber's on Blue Glacier
Climbers on Mount Olympus

NPS Ian Stacy



  • Permits are limited for Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows. Groups of more than 6 are required to camp in designated "Group Sites". Stock parties are required to camp in designated "Stock Sites".
  • Learn how to obtain a Wilderness Permit.


  • Ecosystem type: Glacier, alpine
  • Trail tread types: Glacial ice
  • General elevation trend: flat to steep
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Distance: 4-6 miles from Glacier Meadows to summit
  • Elevation change: 4,400 feet to 7,980 feet
  • Best Season: Late June through mid-August


  • Food Storage Method: Bear canisters are required for camping beyond Glacier Meadows on Mount Olympus. Community bear wires are available at Tom Creek, Happy Four, 5-Mile Island, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Elk Lake, and Glacier Meadows. Bear canisters are still recommended for these bear wire locations since space is limited.
  • Location and sites: Camp areas are located at Caltech Rocks and Snow Dome. No camping between Glacier Meadows and the Blue Glacier. See also Hoh River Trail for lower camps.
  • Toilet Facilities: Pit toilets are located at 5-Mile Island, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Elk Lake, and Glacier Meadows. Blue bags are required on Mount Olympus. Blue bags are available at the Hoh Visitor Center and the WIC in Port Angeles.
  • Water Source: Glacier or snow melt

Special Concerns

  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace during your stay to protect the resource.
  • Campfires: No campfires above Martin Creek to protect sensitive vegetation. Please use dead and down wood and leave no trace of your fire when you leave.
  • Respect Wildlife: To protect bears and other wildlife, all food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in bear canisters if you are camping above Glacier Meadows.


In early season, several steep snow slopes exist along the Hoh River Trail between Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows. An ice axe and crampons may be required for much of the spring and early summer. It may also be difficult to follow sections of trail due to snow. Map and compass skills may be required during winter, spring, and early summer.

During winter months, travel above Elk Lake is not recommended due to steep avalanche chutes. Ropes and anchors may be necessary to cross these safely.

Climbing Mount Olympus should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers who have glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills and gear.

Upper Blue Glacier Backside of False Summit
Climbers on Mount Olympus (backside of false summit)

NPS Eric Dorner

Rappel from Summit Block of West Peak
Rappel from summit block of West Peak

NPS Eric Dorner

The Summit Block from Backside of False Summit of Mt. Olympus
Successful climbers descending from the summit of Mount Olympus

NPS Eric Dorner

Last updated: November 12, 2023

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