Northwest of Olympia, Hoodsport and Duckabush, the lower portion of the 7.2 mile Jupiter Ridge Trail (#809) is excellent for an early season hike (after May 1st when the gate opens) due to the early snow melt on the ridge line. This trail offers opportunities for day hiking, photographing expansive scenic views and wildflowers, and backpacking. The trail gradually climbs the ridgeline with views of the Duckabush valley, Mt. Jupiter, The Brothers and Hood Canal. After 5 miles, the trail becomes steeper and rougher. From the upper portion of the ridgeline Jupiter Lakes are visible below, and from the summit the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound are seen. Routes to Jupiter Lakes are not formally established and hikers must scramble (900 ft. drop in elevation) down to the lakes. Bring plenty of water with you, there is none along the trail. NOTE: Stoves only above 3500 ft. elevation. Groups consisting of more than 12 people are prohibited within the Wilderness. The total elevation gain is from 2000 feet to 5700.
To reach the trail head, follow Hwy 101 to FS# Rd. 2610-010 (Mt. Jupiter Rd.) approximately 22 mi. north of Hoodsport. Follow Rd. 2610-010 for 2.5 mi. to the junction with FS Rd. #2610-011 (the left fork). Just north of the intersection is a wildlife gate. This gate is locked from October 1 to May 1 and during times of high fire danger. When the gate is locked, you must hike the 011 spur 2.5 mi.to the trail and the trailhead. Road 2610-010 is steep, winding, and can be rough in places. Use of trailers is not possible under any circumstances due to the rough roads and difficulty in turning around.
Overall, Jupiter Ridge Trail is the 18th most popular hiking trail of all 56 hikes in Washington.