Mt. Rose: Elevation: 4,301 ft.Elevation gain: 3,500 ft. Distance: 6.4 miles Time: 5-6 hrs. Trailhead: 800 ft. Enjoyment rating: 2
Overview:Mt. Rose has a pretty name but it is one of my least favorite hikes. It is a steep, somewhat tedious hike through thick, nondescript forest to a large outcrop of rock which rises above the trees. It does have three things in its favor, however. First, the top offers great views of Lake Cushman, far below. Second, there is a loop hike on the top ridge which adds some interest. And third, it’s lower elevation allows access when the higher peaks are covered in snow. But it is a lot of work for these few positives.
Getting to The Trailhead:In Hoodsport, on Hwy 101, go west on Lake Cushman Road. Go left on Forest Road #24 and drive about 3 miles to the sign for the Mount Rose trail.
The Trail:From the first you are greated with switchbacks, climbing up through thick Douglas Fir with few viewpoints. At 1 mile you cross into the Mount Skokomish Wilderness. At 1.8 miles hit the junction of the ridge loop trail. Stay left and at 2.9 miles reach the summit.
The Peak:The final 200 feet to the summit is very steep. But here the views finally open up. Massive Lake Cushman lies 3,600 feet below. 4,654 foot Lightning Peak is close to the south, and to the north are the sharp points of Six Ridge, at the head of the North Fork of the Skokomish River. To complete the loop back, follow the rocky ridgeline north. Mt. Ellinor can be seen to the East as you make your way down the ridge. At 3.7 miles (.8 from the top) leave the ridge and at 4.6 miles (1.7 miles from the top) return to the junction where you turned left to the summit. It is 1.8 miles back to the trailhead to complete the 6.4 mile hike.