Parking at the Mt. Rose trailhead requires no parking permit or pass.


The route to the top of Mt. Rose is 6.5miles with 3500′ of vert. This lollipop loop goes to the 4300′ summit of Mt. Rose. “The trail is steep and well-maintained, with perfect vertical training grounds for upcoming events,” says Single Track podcast host Mathias Eichler. “Many locals visit this place to do repeats in preparation for big races or adventures.”

Summit of Mt. Rose above Lake Cushman (Mathias Eichler)

The views at the top of Mt. Rose are spectacular. Look straight down at Lake Cushman with Lightning Peak in the distance. Many other peaks are visible from the summit, including Mt. Ranier to the southeast and Mt. Steel to the northwest near the headwaters of the North Fork Skokomish River.


Mt. Rose in December with Mt. Rainier in the background (Mathias Eichler)

The route starts at Lake Cushman and gains elevation within the first few steps. There are switchbacks through the second-growth forest before it enters the Mount Skokomish Wilderness in just over a mile. The trail gets steeper at this point, eventually rising above the treeline through rocks, moss, and the occasional Pacific Madrone tree. Lake Cushman will start to appear through any tree clearing.



1.7 miles into the trail, the summit loop begins as both directions lead to the top of Mt. Rose. Most stay left as the trail continues through firs, cedars, hemlocks, and manzanita. Eventually, the trail straddles the ridge where the rocky top of Mt. Ellinor appears. A short distance later is the Mt. Rose summit. Continue scrambling down the loop for 1.3 miles until the stem of the Mt. Rose trail heads back to the trailhead.


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