Mount Constance

Featured photo of Mount Constance

Mt. Constance is the highest and most massive peak on the eastern front of the Olympics. It is the fifth highest peak in the range after Mt. Deception and the three summits of Mt. Olympus. It is composed of basalt erupted beneath the Pacific Ocean 15 million years ago, and tipped upright to form vertical walls of knobby basketball-sized "pillows".

Montane forest reaches up to 5000' and patches of sub-alpine character persist to 7000'. The mountain's higher reaches are alpine and host range endemic species such as Flett's Violet and Piper's Bellflower.

The massif is bisected by a glacially carved canyon opening to the south and draining steeply to the Dosewallips River. A National Park road is etched across the lower buttresses of the mountain at 1500' elevation.

A delightful trail rises 3200' in two miles from the road, following Constance Creek to Lake Constance at the mouth of Avalanche Canyon. From this point, a variety of mixed snow and rock routes (II,3 thru IV,5.7) access the summit and a dozen other satellite peaks.

In 1857 Lt. George Davidson anchored his ship in a cove in the Puget Sound in southwest Seattle. At that time Lt. Davidson was engaged to Ellinor Fauntleroy and set out to impress his future father in law by naming prominent features after folks in the Fauntleroy family. Fauntleroy Cove was named after his future father-in-law, R. H. Fauntleroy. Davidson, impressed with the spectacular view of the Olympics to the west, named Mt. Ellinor, for his bride to be. He also named The Brothers, Mt. Constance, and Mt. Rose for members of his future family.

Elevation (feet): 7,743
Elevation (meters): 2,360
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Olympic Mountains
State: Washington
Latitude: 47.772849
Longitude: -123.127384
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: June 26, 1922
First successful climber(s): Robert Schellin and A. E.
Nearest major airport: Seattle
Convenient Center: Port Townsend

Thanks to Ian Bentryn and theyogiclimber for contributing to these details. (View history)

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 8 trip reports for Mount Constance.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22525 - by theyogiclimber on June 02, 2016
    Camped at frozen Lake Constance on Saturday, and summitted on Sunday, Mother's Day. Stefan was climbing partner. 
  • Log #12511 - by Tom Marx on Nov 26, 2002
    Even though it was July, the lake was still half covered with ice... We hit the lake at around 3 in the afternoon, ate, and settled in for some sleep. Up at 1 in the morning, we navigated up...
  • Log #12512 - by Grant on Nov 08, 2002
    A gorgeous clear day! Unfortunately, I didn't know the road to the Lake Constance trailhead is closed 4 miles downstream, so it ended being a slightly longer trip than I'd intended. Began walking at...
  • Log #12513 - by Troy Link on Oct 22, 2002
    Up West Ridge. Stay right on rock near headwall, no need to get on snow. Longer rope is useful. Down via Terrible traverse.
  • Log #12514 - by Andrew Fry on Oct 22, 2002
    I have been up to Lake Constance many times and Up to the summit of Constace a couple of times. Always make sure that you have plenty of food because every single time that I have gone, the weather...
  • Log #12515 - by Kevin A. Koski on Nov 06, 2000
    Wow! This is a great death march for a one day round trip hike. Watch out for loose rocks in the last chute going to the ridge from avalanche canyon. It has a fun summit block.
  • Log #12517 - by Kaia P. Turner on June 26, 2000
    I did the Lake Constance Route last June as my first ever hike -- carrying just a small daypack, I thought it was quite difficult. In retrospect, though, that was a piece of cake. This particular...
  • Log #12518 - by Ian Bentryn on Dec 12, 1999
    Robert and I hit the trailhead at the crack of dawn and made the lake in two hours. The latter 3K was slower going on talus, scree and old snow. "Sean's Walk" provided a sane alternative to...