Grand Pass, Obstruction Point Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Grand Pass - 11.9 Miles
Obstruction Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||11.9 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,125' - 6,448' (6,559' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-1,180' net elevation loss (+4,125' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Grand Pass is located 5.95 miles from Obstruction Point in Olympic National Park. It spans a divisive ridge between the Grand, Lillian River, and Cameron Creek valleys with some of the rangiest views in the park.
While this would be compelling enough, the hike through Grand Valley to Grand Pass is widely considered one of the finest alpine treks in Olympic.
The trail begins at 6,125' in open tundra before descending steeply into the valley just above Grand Lake. It continues by Moose Lake, Gladys Lake and a link of tarns, streams and snowfields up to the pass.
Visitors will enjoy abundant wildflowers, remarkable views, and open alpine travel on the hike to Grand Pass:
The Lillian Ridge Trail heads south from Obstruction Point and rolls moderately through open tundra with spectacular vistas and easy access to several perennial snowfields.
It crests at .7 miles (6,350') and drops steeply to a razor-thin ridge with rangy views down the Badger and Lillian River valleys (1.3 miles : 6,310').
The trail rises back up to a saddle (1.65 miles : 6,435'), where it shades east and drops precipitously down steep, barren slopes. Grand Lake soon comes in to view on this rapid descent.
The trail shifts quickly through pockets of krummholz as the forest gradually reconstitutes at lower elevations (2.65 miles : 5,400').
Open rocky slopes give way to grassy meadows leading to a small creek (3.05 miles : 5,065'), past which the grade levels into a broad meadow at the Grand Pass - Grand Lake Trail split (3.5 miles : 4,945').
The Grand Pass Trail turns up valley to the wooded north edge of Moose Lake (3.85 miles : 5,045'), and emerges in a rolling meadow on its west shore where campsites are located (4.2 miles).
The trail continues above Moose Lake with perspective across the entire valley. It threads the vestiges of treeline to a spur for Gladys Lake (4.65 miles : 5,375'), located a few steps off the main trail.
Gladys Lake is more aptly described as a pair of large, shapely ponds. It sees fewer day-visitors than the other two lakes, which may appeal to backpackers during peak season.
The trail clears treeline as the valley opens above Gladys Lake. Wildflowers are notably abundant along a network of braided, snow-fed streams in the upper valley.
The trail crosses a creek and makes a decisive turn (east) across the valley (5.1 miles : 5,555'), beginning a progressively - and at times prohibitively - steep push for the pass. Anticipate rugged conditions and several major snowfields on this section.
Travel moderates around a tarn (5.9 miles : 6,380') and up to Grand Pass (5.95 miles : 6,488').
The pass itself offers little room to maneuver, but a marked spur climbs 253' in just .25 miles up a razor-thin ridge to Grandview Peak (6,701') with unabated panoramas.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N47 55.101 W123 22.930 — 0.0 miles : Obstruction Point Trailhead
- N47 54.777 W123 22.509 — .5 miles : Rolling travel in high open tundra
- N47 54.466 W123 22.465 — 1.0 miles : Rolling travel atop Lillian Ridge
- N47 54.113 W123 22.137 — 1.5 miles : Steady climb toward divisive saddle
- N47 54.025 W123 21.602 — 2.0 miles : Steep descent down barren slope
- N47 53.933 W123 21.278 — 2.5 miles : Steep drop into vestiges of forest
- N47 53.785 W123 20.967 — 3.0 miles : Fast, shifting descent into forest
- N47 53.414 W123 20.986 — 3.5 miles : Grand Lake access trail split
- N47 53.126 W123 21.020 — 3.85 miles : North edge of Moose Lake
- N47 52.678 W123 21.511 — 4.65 miles : Gladys Lake spur
- N47 52.527 W123 21.790 — 5.1 miles : Cross to east side of valley
- N47 52.433 W123 21.700 — 5.3 miles : Begin very steep push up valley head
- N47 52.143 W123 21.426 — 5.75 miles : Steep, rugged climb (6,000')
- N47 51.939 W123 21.375 — 5.95 miles : Grand Pass (6,448')
- N47 51.842 W123 21.600 — 6.2 miles : Grandview Peak (6,701')
- Snow may linger and obscure portions of the trail well into summer, especially between Gladys Lake and Grand Pass. Technical skills and equipment may be required into early summer to reach the pass. Only experienced hikers / climbers should attempt the pass under such conditions.
- The majority of the hike to Grand Pass is challenging and exposed in both directions. Plan around good weather with a very early start. Be mindful of changing weather patterns and aim for safe terrain well before storms develop. While achievable in a day, Grand Pass is better suited as part of a backpacking itinerary through Grand Valley.
- Moose and Gladys lakes are especially attractive areas that warrant exploration if time permits. Grand Lake is visible for much of the descent into the valley, and requires additional effort to reach from the main trail. Day hikers may opt to skip Grand Lake in favor of more compelling destinations ahead.
- Obstruction Point Road is 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.
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 registration fee per group, + $2 per person per night (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 your permit ahead of time.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for all Grand Valley destinations. 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, which are available at each lake.
- Food Storage: Bear canisters are not required, but are recommended.
- Fires are not permitted in Grand Valley.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
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