Mount Olympus (Washington)

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This article is about the mountain in Washington State. For the mountain in Utah, see Mount Olympus (Utah). For mountain range in Greece, see Mount Olympus.
Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus Washington.jpg
Elevation 7,980 ft (2,430 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence 7,838 ft (2,389 m)[2]
Listing Ultra
Mount Olympus is located in Washington (state)
Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus
Location Olympic National Park, Jefferson County, Washington, US
Range Olympic Mountains
Coordinates 47°48′05″N 123°42′39″W / 47.801298806°N 123.710837242°W / 47.801298806; -123.710837242Coordinates: 47°48′05″N 123°42′39″W / 47.801298806°N 123.710837242°W / 47.801298806; -123.710837242[1]
Topo map USGS Mount Olympus
Type Shale and sandstone
Age of rock Eocene
First ascent 1907 by L.A. Nelson and party[3]
Easiest route Glacier Climb

Mount Olympus is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains of western Washington state. Located on the Olympic Peninsula, it is the central feature of Olympic National Park. Mount Olympus is the highest summit of the Olympic Mountains; however, peaks such as Mount Constance, on the eastern margin of the range, are more visible from the Seattle metropolitan area. With notable local relief, it ascends over 2,100 m (6,900 ft) from the 293 m (961 ft) elevation confluence of the Hoh River with Hoh Creek in only 8.8 km (5.5 mi). Mount Olympus has 2,386 m (7,828 ft) of prominence, ranking 5th in the state of Washington.[4]

Due to heavy winter snowfalls, Mount Olympus supports large glaciers, despite its modest elevation and relatively low latitude. These glaciers include Blue, Hoh, Humes, Jeffers, Hubert, and White, the longest of which is Hoh at 3.06 miles (4.93 km). The largest is Blue with a volume of 0.14 cubic miles (0.57 km3) and area of 2.05 square miles (5.31 km2).[5]

The local Native American name for the peak is Sunh-a-do,[6] and upon sighting in 1774 by the Spanish explorer Juan Pérez, the mountain was named "Cerro Nevado de Santa Rosalía". This is said to be the first time a European named a geographic feature in what is now Washington state. In 1778, on July 4, the British explorer John Meares gave the mountain its present name.[7]

On 2 March 1909 Mount Olympus National Monument is proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt.[8] On 28 June 1938 it was designated a national park by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[9] In 1976 the Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve. In 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site.[10] In 1988 Congress designated 95% of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mt Olympus". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  2. ^ "Mount Olympus, Washington". Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  3. ^ Olympic Mountain Rescue (Society) (1988). Climber's Guide to the Olympic Mountains (3rd ed.). Seattle: Mountaineers Books. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-89886-154-9. 
  4. ^ "All Washington Peaks with 2000 Feet of Prominence". Jeff Howbert. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. 
  5. ^ Spicer, Richard C. (1986). Glaciers in the Olympic Mountains, Washington: Present Distribution and Recent Variations. Thesis (University of Washington). 
  6. ^ "Mount Olympus: Historical Background". May 20, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3. 
  8. ^ "Timeline of the Elwha Through 1940". Olympic National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  9. ^ "Your Heritage, Celebrating 75 Years". Olympic National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 

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