Mount Muller offers breathtaking views from a breathtaking trail -- it's a steep climb, but those who make it to the lofty ridgeline are rewarded with a panorama that includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, massive Mount Olympus, and sapphire, sparkling Lake Crescent.
Begin your hike from the Littleton Horse Camp, a large parking area where hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians alike begin their journey on this loop. If you're sharing the trail, remember to yield to uphill traffic. If you're not sure how it works, brush up on your right-of-way etiquette before visiting.
The trail begins in deep forest, passing Littleton Creek. This is the only water available for most of your hike, so be sure to carry plenty with you. The climb starts shortly after you set out, gaining a steep 2000 feet in about 2.5 miles.
Three miles from the trailhead, arrive at Jims Junction, where a trail to the left leads to Kloshe Nanitch lookout site. Your route heads right, setting out on what will be four miles of ridgeline splendor, with spreading views to the south and east, and a peek to the north. When you're not gawping at Lake Crescent or Mount Olympus, take a look at your feet -- beargrass, phlox, twinflower, avalanche lilies, paintbrush, even a little lupine populate this high ridgeline trail.
The trail undulates along the ridgeline, and you'll climb and descend as you traverse eastward. 1.5 miles past Jim's Junction, arrive in Jasmine Meadows. In the forest immediately west of the meadows, look for a sign indicating the Divide Trail, an optional shortcut that allows you to create an 8-mile loop. This route may be overgrown and faint. If you'd prefer to skip it but still want a shorter hike, you can turn around at Jasmine Meadow and head back the way you came.
If you're bound to do the entire loop, continue from Jasmine Meadow another mile, to a junction with the spur trail to the true summit of Mount Muller. Though it's forested, just below the top there's a window-view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Plus, it's such a short side trail; you might as well bag the peak while you're here.
Back at the junction, continue heading east. From here, you'll enjoy the benefits of trail improvements from WTA and Back Country Horsemen, which in 2018 transformed the east half of the Mount Muller trail from a thick bushwhack to a pleasant stroll with lovely views! The west side of the loop shows you what a trail looks like after 10 years of neglect; the east side illustrates what a trail can be when properly attended to.
Views continue until you reach Cahill's Overlook, one of the last open viewpoints on the ridgeline. One switchback below the overlook, take a last look at the impressive panorama before plunging into forest populated with silver fir, hemlock and cedar. The trail descends to Mosley Gap then pops back uphill one last time before beginning a true descent: 2.5 miles of downhill through increasingly mature forest before arriving at a junction with the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT), 9.4 miles from the trailhead.
Turn right on the ODT, crossing Hutch Creek and then veering right onto trail 0.4 miles after getting on the ODT. Follow this level trail back to the Littleton Horse Camp, making your 12.7 mile loop complete (13 if you went to the summit of Muller).