"1923 Olympic National Forest:" with folded map
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OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST
In the extreme northwestern corner of the State of Washington, and hence of the United States, is a
rugged block of territory, surrounded on three sides by salt water, that is known as the Olympic Peninsula.
This peninsula is skirted by a comparatively narrow fringe of low flat or rolling land, but the surface
rises somewhat abruptly into what are termed the Olympic Mountains. The larger part of this mountainous
mass and interior drainage area, about 1,330,000 acres, is embraced within the Olympic National Forest,
and the high central portion, 615,000 acres, is included within an additional Federal withdrawal known
as the Mount Olympus National Monument. This Monument, as well as the surrounding National Forest, is
administered by the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture.
The administrative officers and headquarters for the Olympic National Forest are as follows:
Forest supervisor, Olympia, Wash.
Forest rangers in charge of districts: Port Angeles, Wash.; Quilcene, Wash.; Hoodsport, Wash.; and
Information in addition to that found in this folder will be gladly furnished by the officers named above.
All they ask in return is that yon keep a clean camp and be careful with fire, the archenemy of green
forests. Nearly 400 miles of trail and more than that mileage of telephone lines have been provided by the
Forest Service on this Forest. As you pass a ranger station, it is advisable to give the ranger your name
and destination so that important messages may reach yon. Written permits must be secured for the building
of camp fires during the summer season except on cleared camp grounds where a fire guard is in charge.
THE OLYMPIC HIGHWAY.
Access by automobile to the Olympic Mountains is a relatively recent achievement. The Olympic Highway,
branching from the Pacific Highway at Olympia, is now open for nearly 200 miles around the east and
north sides of the peninsula and for more than 100 miles around the south and west. When completed
this circuit will extend approximately 360 miles through scenery as varied as may be seen from any
highway of equal length in the United States.
About 45 miles of the completed section now heads Puget Sound inlets and includes a 35-mile stretch along
Hoods Canal. For another 45 miles the highway skirts the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and other sections give
access to Lakes Crescent and Quinault. A wealth of large timber and dense undergrowth supplies a most
Mount Olympus proper was roughly charted under the name of Santa Rosalia as early as 1774, by the Spanish
explorer Juan Perez. The present name was, however, the first to be published, being applied by John Mearers,
an English navigator, 14 years later. The mountain was never climbed, so far as any record discloses, until
1907. Each of its three highest peaks has an altitude of about 8,000 feet, and rarely do more than two or
three parties in a summer visit any of them.
What is true of Mount Olympus proper is largely true of other prominent peaks in the Olympics. In fact, a
number of mountain summits, a few almost equal to it in glacial grandeur but less remotely situated, are
still to be climbed. The Olympics have the distinction of being the least known mountains in the United
States as compared with the number of resident population of the country adjacent to them.
The summit of one of the two highest peaks, Mount Anderson, the highest mountain in the Hoods Canal range,
for instance, has been climbed on only one occasion, and that as recently as August, 1920. This region,
therefore, possesses a particular appeal for the hardy mountain climber in search of new regions to explore.
THE TIMBER RESOURCE.
The chief economic value of the Olympic National Forest lies in its present stand of commercial saw timber
and in the timber-growing possibilities of this area. The standing timber of commercial size is estimated
to be in excess of 26 billion feet, board measure, which is about one-twentieth of the estimated total stand
of Government timber on the 150 National Forests in the United States. Fully two-thirds of the 26 billion
feet is found on the west-side watersheds of the Forest.
Much of this timber is mature, and hence an annual cut during the first cutting cycle in excess of the actual
timber-growing capacity of the land is justified. The suggested excess cut is allowable for the purpose of
utilizing the surplus old growth throughout a reasonable period, in order that the forest may eventually
be placed on a sustained-yield basis of cutting each year just what the forest acreage will normally produce.
Present knowledge warrants a cut of about 400 million board feet per year during the first cutting cycle,
and this would mean a handsome public revenue.
.........conveniences have been provided by the Forest Service, and at a few of the largest Forest camps fire
guards are stationed who are responsible for fire prevention and for preserving sanitary conditions. So far
as is consistent with their other duties, these men will help campers in any reasonable manner. As a traveler
and camper you can assist in preserving the natural attractiveness and the cleanliness of Forest camps
by observing the following rules, which apply in greater or less degree to all camping places:
1. Build your fires in the places provided.
2. Use tent poles already cut and save the trees.
3. Use dead material for firewood.
4. Use the public comfort stations provided.
5. Do not cut small trees to provide brush for beds.
6. Do not cut or burn trees.
7. Put tin cans and rubbish in the garbage cans or the holes dug for disposing of such materials.
8. When yon leave, think of those who will follow you, or perhaps of your own return visit, and leave
your camp in as good a condition as that in which you found it, or better.
The best improved Forest camps on the Olympic National Forest (all on or near the Olympic Highway) are
the Lapoel on Lake Crescent, Klahowya on the Soleduck, 10 miles west of Lake Crescent, Rainbow at the Big
Quilcene Canyon, and the Falls and camps on Lake Quinault. Many other less
accessible but very alluring camping places are reached only by trail; but their use during the summer
season is subject to the procuring of a special written camp-fire permit from the local ranger or patrolman,
designating place or places and dates.
HOT SPRINGS RESORTS.
On the cool north fringe of the Olympic Mountains are two groups of hot springs. The Olympic Hot Springs
resort, under permit from the Forest Service, lies on Boulder Creek, 12 miles by trail from Elwha, on the
Olympic Highway. The Sol Duc Hot Springs resort lies at the end of the Soleduck River road, which leaves
the Olympic Highway not far west of Lake Crescent.
The "100% American" puts out his camp fires, and leaves a little wood for the
next camper who may arrive late at night or in stormy weather or with an indisposed companion on his hands.
There is good hotel service for those who prefer not to carry camping outfits. On Lake Crescent arc Singer's
Tavern, Rosemary Inn, and Ovington's; there are other resorts also at East Beach and Piedmont. Quinault
Hotel and other minor resorts are at Quinault Lake, but this place is not as yet equipped with first-class
tourist hotels. There are also eight or more hotels and resorts near the Olympic Highway along Hoods Canal.
On the steeper north shore of Lake Crescent are two groups of summer-home lots, some of which are not yet
in use. On Quinault Lake are a large number of these sites, and many of them are still inappropriate. For
summer homes in the vicinity of these two lakes the Forest Service charges a rental of $10 to $15 per year.
LAKE CRESCENT AND QUINAULT LAKE.
Lake Crescent lies among lofty mountains, the timbered slopes of which rise for the most part abruptly
from the water's edge. The lake is about 11 miles long by one-half mile to 2 miles wide, and hundreds of
feet deep. Its surface is 570 feet above the level of the sea, and at times the water is deep blue. The
Beardslee trout is the principal game fish, particularly in point of size; several of them that weighed
18 to 23 pounds each have been caught on a copper line. Regular automobile stage service is available
from Port Angeles to Forks along the new South Shore Road, and this gives immediate access to two popular
summer-resort hotels and to the LaPoel Forest Camp. At least four other hotels are available on this lake,
Quinault Lake, surrounded as it is by a dense stand of beautiful old-growth timber, has been rapidly
increasing in popularity as a haven for the tourist, camper, and fisherman. Its shores will permit larger
development both in camp grounds and buildings than those of Lake Crescent, put it is a smaller lake,
being about 4 miles long by 2 miles wide, and about 200 feet above sea level The lake waters are within
the Quinault Indian Reservation, but fishing for rainbow and other trout and small salmon is allowed under
free permit obtainable at the Government Fish Hatchery, near the Quinault post office. Regular automobile
stage service is available from Hoquiam and Aberdeen.
Protection of about 6,700 acres of National Forest land and timber surrounding this lake from any use not
consistent with the recreation values is guaranteed through a recent special dedication order by the district
forester creating the Quinault Lake Recreation Unit
MAIN TRAILS AND OBJECTIVES.
To those interested in following the trails, not only as a means of approach for mountain-peak climbing, but
also for recreation on foot or horseback, the following outline of the principal trail routes by districts
or regions will be helpful. Three main divisions are considered-the Hoods Canal District, the North Side
District, and the Southwest District
HOODS CANAL DISTRICT.
Tributary to this district are Quilcene and Hoodsport, and, more distant, Port Townsend and Shelton.
South Fork Skokomish Trail
starts from Lake Cushman Road at Canyon Hill, 5 miles west of Hoodsport, and
goes west, reaching the South Fork in about 7 miles. This section is graded, but the other 18 miles to
the Quinault Divide is in generally poor condition and crosses the river several times. Quinault Lake
can be reached on foot, but there is no trail for several miles on the Quinault side.
North Fork Skokomish Trail
goes from Lake Cushman up the south bank of the river, crossing on a substantial
bridge to the north bank about 6 miles above the lake. It has been improved by the Forest Service for
another 7 miles, and foot travel is feasible to the Duckabush Divide, 8 miles, and west into the head
of the Quinault; but there is no trail on the Quinault side.
is the only definitely located and graded through trail from Hoods Canal to the Elwha or
Quinault drainage areas. It starts from the Corrigenda Ranger Station, 5 miles west of the Olympic Highway,
and reaches the main divide at Hayden Pass, 6,000 feet altitude, in 25 miles. The principal attraction in
the region of the headwaters lies in its extensive mountain meadows surrounded by craggy peaks. This is
the best route for climbing Mount Anderson, only the east peak of which has been climbed to date. Other
scenic attractions along the lower stretch of the river are the Jump-Off Canyon, 8 miles, and the south
wall of Mount Constance.
Big Quilcene Trail
starts from Rainbow Forest Camp above the Big Quilcene Canyon, and has been definitely
located and graded by the Forest Service for about 14 miles, but does not reach mountain-meadow country.
You know how you dislike to camp among old tin cans and torn paper; therefore clean up your camp.
NORTH SIDE DISTRICT.
Tributary to this district are Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks, and, more distant, Port Townsend and Clallam Bay.
Deer Park Trails.
-- Two different routes are open to the Deer Park Meadows and the Blue Mountain region back
from Sequim. One trail branches from a road 8 miles southwest from Sequim and climbs through largely
burned-over country and along the top a high ridge, its total length being 8 miles. The other route starts
from the Danz Ranch, 8 miles from the Olympic Highway, and follows Morse Creek drainage on a better defined
and more even grade, its total length being 7 miles.
Morse Creek Trail
starts from the end of the Mount Pleasant Road, 5 miles from the Olympic Highway, and
follows the west branch of Morse Creek lo open country on Hurricane Ridge, a distance of 10 miles.
Little River Trail
starts from Little River Road about 6 miles southwest of Port Angeles and is graded
through to open country on top of Hurricane Ridge, a distance of 7 miles.
is the main foot or horseback route into the high central portion of the Olympic Mountains. It
starts from the Olympic Highway 10 1/2 miles west of Port Angeles and follows, in the main, the east bank
of the Elwha River to the Elwha Basin and to the Low Divide at the head of the North Fork Quinault River.
The route is well defined throughout the first 25 miles to Hayes River, where much grading is in evidence,
but the last 11 miles or so to the Elwha Basin includes three crossings of the main river by ford or foot
log, and easily can be confused with numerous elk trails along the heavily timbered bottoms. Two main
through trails are reached by this route - the Hayes-Dosewallips route to Hoods Canal, and the North Fork
Quinault Trail at the Low Divide, 38 miles. The Elwha Trail is the most popular route for climbing Mount
Olympus, the climb usually requiring three days from Elwha Basin - one fairly short day over into Queets
Basin near the Humes Glacier; the next day up this glacier, through Blizzard Pass to the Hoh Glacier, up
that to either one or all of the three peaks, and back to camp; the third day, back to Elwha Basin.
starts from the Olympic Highway, on the south shore of Lake Crescent, and climbs rapidly to
mountain meadows on North Fork Soleduck Divide, the altitude being over 5,000 feet and the distance
of 4 miles.
Canyon Creek-Hoh Trail
starts from Sol Duc Hot Springs and swings up Canyon Creek, cutting across the high Soleduck Divide, along
the west face of Bogachiel Peak, then over the Hoh Divide to Hoh Lake, and following down Lake Creek to the
Hoh River, a total distance of about 13 miles. It gives easy access to the highly scenic Seven Lakes Basin,
the top of Bogachiel Peak, and furnishes a marvelous view of the north aide of Mount Olympus, 6 miles air
line: also the heavily timbered Hoh and Bogachiel valleys.
is a switchback trail, which climbs southwest from the Sol Duc Hot Springs and connects with the Bogachiel
branches from the present Pacific Trail, or projected Olympic Highway, 6 or 8 miles south of Forks, and
follows the north bank of the main river, then the North Fork to the high, open divide between this drainage
and the Soleduck, here connecting with the Bogachiel-Park Trail, a distance of 22 miles.
branches from the old Pacific Trail, or projected Olympic Highway, l2 miles south of Forks, and
follows the north bank of the main Hoh River on an easy grade to the Olympus Ranger Station, 2 miles above
the junction with the Canyon-Hoh Trail, a distance of about 28 miles. Foot travel is possible above the
station, and Mount Olympus has been climbed three or four times from this side, but the route is not well
defined and is somewhat hazardous.
Tributary to this region are Quinault and Humptulips, and, more distant, Hoquiam and Aberdeen.
branches east from the Olympic Highway about 8 miles north of Humptulips and cuts across
both the west and east forks of the Humptulips, over which there are no bridges, and into the Wynoochee
Drainage, a distance of 17 miles. It gives access to the Wynoochee River Trail, which is graded and passable
into high open country near the head of that river. This latter trail can also be reached by trail along
the lower section of the river from Montesano, or by a crude cross-country trail from the Simpson Logging
Railroad in the Satsop drainage.
Quinault River Trail
takes off from the end of the Quinault Valley South Side Road, and follows the south bank of the main river
to Litchy Creek. Horseback and foot travel farther up the river is possible only with considerable
The Forest Service has spent considerable time and money in putting up signboards for the benefit of the
public; please leave them unmutilated and undisturbed.
Queets-Quinault Divide Trail
climbs up Finley Ridge from the Quinault Valley North Side Road about 4 miles above Quinault Lake and, after
reaching the Finley Lookout, follows along the main divide, which is often a sharp ridge between the Quinault
and Queets drainage areas. It gives access to a number of scenic mountain meadows, and famishes several
splendid views of Mount Olympus, and eventually swings down Promise Creek to join the North Fork Quinault
Trail, about 4 miles south of the Low Divide, a total length of 42 miles. The latter trail is now under
construction to join Quinault Valley with the upper Elwha by a graded river route, following mostly the west
bank of the North Fork of the Quinault. Ten miles of this trail was built during 1922.
Olympic Highlands, Olympia to Quinault.
Note, - This Grays Harbor extension of the Olympic Highway branches to the left from Hoods Canal extension
5 miles west of Olympia.
BRANCH ROAD MILEAGE FROM OLYMPIC HIGHWAY
Olympia to Forks.
From Shelton to Matlock, 18.
Skokomish Bridge to Union, 6; to Bremerton, 38.
From Duckabush up river to Interrorem. 4.
Up Dosewallips River to Corrigenda Ranger Station, 5.
From Quilcene to Tubal Cain Trail, 5.
From Sequim to Deer Park Trail, 8.
From Agnew to Cameron Ranch, 7.
Up east side Morse Creek to Deer Perk Trail. 8.
Up west side Morse Creek to Morse Creek Trail. 5.
From Port Angeles to Mount Angeles Trail, 7.
From Port Angeles to Little River Trail, 6.
From Port Angeles to Piedmont, 20.
Up Soleduck River to Sol Duc Hot Springs, 12.
From Highway to Clallam Bay, 18.
From Highway to Mora, 14; to La Push, l6
Olympia to Quinault.
From junction with Moclips Road to Copalis. 6.
From Highway to Pacific Beach, 14; to Moclips, 15.
Up southeast shore Quinault Lake to Quinault Lake Hoh 1.3; Falls Creek Camp. 1.5; suspension foot bridge, 4,
Trail mileage is furnished elsewhere in this fold under the heading "Main Trails and Objectives."
THE WILD LIFE RESOURCE.
The Olympic Mountains have the distinction of being the home of the Olympic or Roosevelt elk
(Cerus Roosevelti), a distinct species much larger than the more numerous Rocky Mountain or Yellowstone elk
and in other ways different. This species is found naturally only in the Olympic Peninsula region. Under
protection of the State game laws
the Olympic elk have increased in late years to probably 7,000 within the boundaries of the Olympic National
Forest, and perhaps 1,000 in the low rolling coast lands just west of the Forest boundary. The elk in large
bands of more than a hundred are oft seen in the high mountain meadows by summer travelers, but are driven
down into the lower west side country by the winter snows. Natural browse feed is becoming scarce in the few
winter-feeding valleys on the heavily timbered west slope. This largely due to the natural barriers of dense
timber and high, intervening ridges, as well as the natural instinct of the Olympic elk to return year after
year to the range on which they were born.
Other wild animals found in this region are deer, black bear, lynx, civet cat, otter, beaver, muskrats,
snowshoe rabbit, and occasionally the timber wolf.