Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
The aspect is south facing, so snow melts here earlier than other trails.
There are several ways to reach Klahhane Ridge, but the Switchback Trail is the shortest and most efficient. It is very steep and without much shade, so be prepared. This challenging climb begins its ascent immediately from the Switchback trailhead parking lot off Hurricane Ridge
Road. Initially, the trail passes through dense dark conifer forests and crosses several streams. To stay on the Switchback Trail, keep right at the intersection with the Mount Angeles Trail
. Shade provided by tree cover decreases the higher you go.
Continue to navigate the steep switchbacks, climbing the southern flank of Mount Angeles towards Klahhane Ridge. Admire the mountain's striped layers of sedimentary rock made from lava. The trail hugs the base of improbably colored basalt towers. The Switchback Trail ends upon reaching the junction of Heather Park Trail
and the Klahhane Ridge Trail
. From here you'll already be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the Olympic Peninsula in all directions.
Mountain lion, black bear, bobcat, [sometimes aggressive] mountain goat, marmot, deer.