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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Mount Olympus, WW

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113 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List WW > Europe
Rated
5
5 of 5 by 1
 
0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Distance Shuttle 14.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,696 feet
Elevation Gain 5,900 feet
Accumulated Gain 7,530 feet
Avg Time Hiking 10-14
Kokopelli Seeds 39.34
Interest Ruins, Historic, Perennial Waterfall, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
73  2018-06-23 DarthStiller
40  2017-06-03 arizona_water
Author arizona_water
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 114
Photos 1,079
Trips 117 map ( 1,352 miles )
Age 29 Male Gender
Location Salt River Valley
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep
Seasons   Summer
Sun  9:12pm - 9:39am
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
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Culture Nearby
Zeus ain't got nothin' on this!
by arizona_water

Likely In-Season!
Overview
The Olympus Massif is the highest point in Greece and has 52 peaks, deep gorges, and exceptional biodiversity. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,918 meters (9,573 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence.


Olympus was notable in Greek mythology as the home of the Greek gods, on the Mytikas peak. Mount Olympus is also noted for its rich biodiversity. In 1938, Olympus became the first national park established in Greece. It is also a World's Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO).

The first recorded ascent was in 1913, which is hard to believe, given its culture significance and accessibility in late summer.

Note
The final climb to the true summit (known as Mytikas) has many class IV moves. This should not be attempted without technical gear when ice, snow, or moisture are present.

Hike
This world class hike ascends through three environmental biomes through a network of trails. Many hikers choose to do the hike in two days and spend a night in a hiker's lodge on either the Plateau of Muses or on the south side of the massif. Trails are well marked and easy to follow until reaching the summit. With two main trailheads (Prionia and Gortsia), there are a few options for either out-and-back or one-way routes.

Whichever route you choose, you will encounter several staffed hiker huts, or refuges. These are stocked by mule train and offer hot meals, cold beer, and bunk beds. The prices are much more affordable than their mountain refuge cousins to the north (aka Switzerland).

Water Sources
The hikers huts on the northeast side of the mountain of have surface water (other than snow), so all water resources must be packed. The huts are stocked by mules, so you could purchase water bottles from the staff, if needed. The hut on the southeast side does have running water that is unfiltered from glacial melt. In fact, the lower half of the southern trail to Prionia follows a beautiful glacial stream.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2017-08-16 arizona_water
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Mount Olympus
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    When Melody and I decided to go to Greece this summer, I started looking for some hiking opportunities. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of summiting one of the most recognizable peaks in the world: Olympus. The highest point on the massif is called "Mytikas," and is a technical climb most months of the year. I was really hoping for some serious snow melt by early June.

    After spending seven days hopping around some Greek islands, we met up with our friend, Megan, and made our way to the more mountainous parts of Greece. We spent the night in the mountain village of Litochoro and then woke up early the next morning to drive to the Gortsia trailhead. The plan was to complete a one-way horse-shoe shaped track, ascending the north side to the Plateau of Muses where we would spend the night at Refuge Apostolidos (a staffed hikers hut), then summit early the next morning and descend by the more popular southern trail.

    As we began our ascent through the forest, I could not help but think of how much this reminded me of the classic hikes in the Swiss & French Alps and the Pyrenees: well marked trails, friendly hikers, and beautiful forests leading to alpine experiences. We passed the first refuge in a couple hours, took a short break, and powered on up the trail to the tree line. The trail up to this point had been easy to follow, but now we were running into some snow and route finding became a little more difficult. In what felt like no time at all, we arrived at our refuge for the night. The hut is staffed year round - winter for mountaineers and backcountry skiers; summer for hikers and climbers. We had a delicious meal of beef stew and "mountain rice" with beer.

    At first light, we were on the trail, or what was once a trail. At this elevation, there was still a lot of snow left over from the spring. We followed a visible foot track that had been used a few days prior. This led us below the main summer route and off-trail to a crux in the climb where you gain the top of a ridgeline. We were now back on a dry and visible trail. However, this was badly eroded and we took our time making our way towards a marked route for the summit.

    There are two non-technical summit routes. The first approaches from the south and is the most popular. It is well marked with red dots and easy to follow, even in the densest fog. The second approaches from the east and is much steeper and is marked by blue dots. The plan was to not do any backtracking, so we would ascend the blue route and descend the red. We quickly realized that the blue route would be much more challenging than anticipated due to lingering ice and snow. Megan led the way and shouted down foot holds to us as we took our time on the ascent. There's really not much info on the internet about this climb, in English. But one thing I have read is that there are a couple class IV moves prior to the true summit. Going over those rocks was a bit scary, but manageable.

    The clouds broke as we summited, and we had excellent views of the Aegean Sea and the entire Olympus Massif.
    The descent was easy, by comparison to the ascent. We made good time to the refuge on the southeast side of the mountain, then slowed down a bit as we made our way through the forest. It was refreshing to have new views and terrain to cover on the hike down, since we opted for the shuttled hike over an out-and-back. Oh, and we saw an endangered Greek Ibex!

    Once at the Prionia trailhead, we took off our shoes and went swimming in the ice cold creek that flows out of a glacier. I hitchhiked with a nice Russian hiker back to the Gortsia TH to pickup our car.

    This was an exhausting and rewarding hike, with enough challenge to leave a lasting impression. It felt amazing to summit THE Mount Olympus. Souvlaki and beer followed.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the village of Litochoro:
    Drive to either the Prionia or the Gortsia trailheads. Taxis are available during the summer months.
    page created by arizona_water on Aug 16 2017 1:59 pm
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