Obstruction Point hike
A stunning alpine hike that is - surprisingly - not often done. You can choose to do this as a linear hike, with a car-shuttle. That takes a lot of time so we prefer to do either a long return dayhike or else turn around after 8.0km as a more reasonable dayhike.
If you want to shuttle, it will take about 2 hours between vehicle drops. Ouch! The two trailheads are Deer Park Trailhead: from the US-101 turn right onto Deer Park Rd; take this for 25.7km to trailhead. Obstruction Point Trailhead: From Port Angelesfollow Race Street south. Veer right along Hurricane Ridge Rd for 28.2km until just before the parking area. Take a very sharp left onto Obstruction Point Rd for 12.2km till its end.
|When to do|
July through September
Yes, halfway along the trail, permits required.
Yes, at trailhead and trail end.
Route Description for Obstruction Point
From Obstruction Point take the path leading to the left as you contour under Obstruction Peak. The trail will veer north as you enter the top edge of a humongous valley. As you continue heading north, you will reach an unsigned junction where you will continue straight.
As you contour around the valley the trail on the opposite end will be clearly visible. You will steadily gain elevation. Hiking directly underneath so many peaks can make you feel like a fish out of water. It’s almost as if you are in an alien landscape of black lichen-covered rocks and small, weathered shrubs.
Finally, after undulating up and down for approximately 20-30 minutes you will pass under Elk Mountain, and then you will reach another junction where you will again continue straight. The trail will now start to veer more to the northeast.
After reaching a pass, you will complete one more small climb before contouring around the south side of Maiden Peak. Looking to the south you will see a humongous ridge of snow-covered, unnamed peaks across the valley. From the east side of Maiden Peak you will start descending again and – in due time – enter the tree line, for the first time this hike!
For the next 3.2km you will continue descending all the way past Green Mountain until you reach the Deer Park Trailhead, where you will find your parked car that you shuttled in before starting. Otherwise, you can retrace your steps back to your car.
This hike can be completed as an arduous out and back. If done this way it would be graded a 5.
For those you want an easier hike, you can hike the first couple of miles, which capture the alien aesthetic beautifully, and then turn around when you’ve had enough.
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