Deer Park Trail, Obstruction Point Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Deer Park Trail - 14.9 miles
Obstruction Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||14.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,125' - 5,238' (6,639' max elevation : 4,880' lowest elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-887' net elevation loss (+3,842' total roundtrip elevation)|
Deer Park Trail - 14.9 Miles Round-Trip
The Deer Park Trail stretches 7.45 miles east from Obstruction Point to Deer Park, making it the highest stretch of maintained trail in Olympic National Park. The Deer Park Trail passes through open tundra over Badger Valley and Grand Valley for nearly five miles before dropping through subalpine meadows and forests to Deer Park.
While the trail is exceptional throughout, there's little reason to complete the entire roundtrip if only coming for the views, which are immediate (and arguably the best) just a short distance from Obstruction Point.
While there's only 1500' of climbing from Obstruction Point to Deer Park, there's over 2300' on the return. Obstruction Point is generally easier to reach by car than Deer Park, with direct access to Badger and Grand valleys:
The trail dips from Obstruction Point to the first of two Badger Valley Trail connections (.25 miles : 6,032') and rises steadily up the south flank of Elk Mountain. It bends east through open tundra with expanding views of distant peaks and the valleys below.
Travel moderates past 1 mile (6,460') with little net climbing to the 2nd Badger Valley Trail split (2.05 miles : 6,620'), easing along grassy benches with good views across the valley (2.5 miles : 6,505').
At 2.6 miles (6,509') the trail crests on a high, thin ridge with N-S views before dropping steeply to Roaring Winds Camp (3.2 miles : 6,002'). The site has terrific views but no reliable water once snow melts. The 2.6 mile crest is an ideal place to turnaround, as views change little but travel intensifies in both directions beyond this point.
The trail climbs from Roaring Winds and moderates once again from 3.5 - 4.0 miles (6,252') on lofty grassy knolls. It flirts with treeline before slipping through meadows into a high subalpine forest (5.0 miles : 5,668').
The trail drops in steep spurts through a pleasant (if nondescript) forest broken by glades. It nadirs at 6.85 miles (4,880'), then climbs steeply out of a burn-blow down area to its eastern terminus at Deer Park (7.45 miles : 5,238').
- N47 55.106 W123 22.927 — 0.0 miles : Obstruction Point Trailhead (6,125')
- N47 55.251 W123 22.785 — .25 miles : Badger Valley Trail split
- N47 55.475 W123 22.127 — 1.0 miles : Travel eases along highest point with views
- N47 55.383 W123 21.518 — 1.5 miles : Travel levels on grasssy benches
- N47 55.407 W123 20.858 — 2.05 miles : Beaver Valley Trail - alternative route
- N47 55.514 W123 20.215 — 2.6 miles : Begin steep drop from narrow ridge (6,509')
- N47 55.667 W123 19.642 — 3.2 miles : Roaring Wind Campsite (6,002')
- N47 55.874 W123 19.609 — 3.5 miles : Moderate travel on south facing slope
- N47 56.046 W123 19.107 — 4.0 miles : Begin gradual descent (6,252')
- N47 56.197 W123 18.733 — 4.5 miles : Pass thru high subalpine meadow into forest
- N47 56.429 W123 18.327 — 5.0 miles : Pleasant sequence of meadows and forest
- N47 56.366 W123 17.746 — 5.5 miles : Steady, moderately steep descent
- N47 56.368 W123 17.130 — 6.0 miles : Steep spurts thru fir and mountain hemlock
- N47 56.660 W123 16.771 — 6.5 miles : Descent moderates (5,175')
- N47 56.849 W123 16.210 — 7.0 miles : Enter fire-blow down area; begin steep climb
- N47 56.989 W123 15.895 — 7.45 miles : Deer Park Trailhead (5,238')
- While there's only 1500' of climbing from Obstruction Point to Deer Park, there's over 2300' on the return.
- The first 5 miles of this trail are completely exposed to sun, wind, and rapidly changing weather. There is no reliable water source on the trail. Carry ample water, sun protection, and several versatile layers.
- Self arrest skills and proper equipment may be necessary to safely traverse steep-sided slopes on the Deer Park Trail when snow covered.
- Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile, and can take many years to recover if trampled. Remain on designated trails at all times.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 per person - per night fee to backcountry camp in Olympic National Park (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange pickup in advance.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for all Grand Valley destinations, including Roaring Winds Camp along the Deer Park Trail. 50% of sites can be reserved in advance; the other 50% is available first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance. Self registration is not permitted during this time.
- Camp only in established sites. Note that once snow melts, there is no water along this trail.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are required at Roaring Winds Camp.
- Fires are not permitted on the Deer Park Trail.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $25 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($50 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
Obstruction Point is located 24.8 miles from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.
From the visitor center, follow Hurricane Ridge Road 17.3 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center; just before entering the lot, turn left onto Obstruction Point Road. Follow this road 7.5 miles to the trailhead.
Obstruction Point Road is a groomed dirt road that's subject to weather and damage closures without notice. Always call ahead for road conditions. The road sees heavy traffic when open, especially on weekends. The road is narrow with steep drop-offs in places. Weekday travel is preferable during peak season.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office