If you’re looking for solitude and a workout on the trail, try Jefferson Ridge. This hike is short, steep in spots, and not well-maintained but well worth the effort. Hike a little used trail through forest and old clearcuts up onto a forested ridgetop and along the ridge to an old fire lookout site. Views from the ridge and the lookout site of the Brothers, Lena Mountain, The Bretherton, Mount Washington and many other peaks in the southeast Olympics. Also views of the Cascades from Mount Baker to south of Mount Rainier and of Hood Canal.
The trail is steep in places and adequate water must be carried as there is none on the trail. This is a great early season hike when snow still covers the higher peaks and meadows. Elevation of the high point on this trail is 3,900 feet. Robert Wood gives a good, detailed description of the trail and the history of the fire lookout that used to grace the ridge.
: Drive Highway 101 14 miles north of Hoodsport and turn left at the
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Hamma Hamma Road (FS Road 25), go 6.5 miles. Go over the Hamma Hamma River Bridge and turn left on FS Road 2480. In 0.2 mi take the right uphill fork onto FS Road 2421. Then go another 2.5 miles on a steep, rocky and narrow road that is best traveled with a high clearance vehicle or SUV. The trailhead is on the right side at a sharp left bend in the road with a wide spot for parking just before the bend. There is no sign at the road. Look for a signup register on a post about 50 feet up the steep trail.
: 3 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
: 1,532 feet
Best time of year
: May to October
: Green Trails 168 The Brothers; Custom Correct The Brothers/Mount Anderson
: None needed
: Contact the ranger station for current road and trail information: Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal District-Quilcene Office 360-765-2200 www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic/index.shtml; “Olympic Mountains Trail Guide” by Robert L. Wood, “Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula,” both Mountaineers Books
Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee. For other hikes, visit www.thenewstribune.com/hiking.