Perched right above Lake Cushman is Mount Ellinor. It is a part of the Olympic Mountains and can be summited within a few hours. There are two trailheads for this hike. The lower trailhead has a 6.2 mile long hike, and the upper trailhead is 3.2 miles round trip.
I chose to climb the shorter hike. It has 2,400 feet of elevation gain in just 1.6 miles and it is tough! The upper part of the trail is really rocky with lots of climbing. At times, I wasn’t sure if I could or even wanted to make it to the top of this one. I just took lots of breaks and used my school counseling strategy of positive-self talk (on myself!). Luckily, there are lots of beautiful views of Lake Cushman, the Hood Canal, and the Puget Sound to look at when you need a break to catch your breath.
Even after the mental and physical battle, I’m glad I did it (especially now that I’m sitting in my recliner typing this). It’s a pretty cool accomplishment!