(see detailed trail info for each below)
Hoh River Trail: 18 miles through rainforest on up to alpine zone.
Queets Trail: 16 miles. Little used trail with good fishing and wildlife viewing, but first you gotta wade the wide Queets River. A challenge.
Bogachiel River Trail: 28.4 miles. The anglers' trail! Seventeen miles of wilderness fishing, then into the mountains.
Skyline Trail: 45.2 miles. Difficult, long, majestic.
East Fork Quinault River Trail: 17.5 miles. Takes in Enchanted Valley, with its 4,000 foot rock and waterfalls.
North Fork Quinault River Trail: 16.5 miles. Fishing, wildlife viewing, and swimming in high lakes. Fun trail.
Graves Creek Trail: 8 miles. Low use, steep climb, great views and wildlife. Now that's wilderness!
Hoh Rain Forest
Hall of Mosses Trail is .75 mile round trip, beginning at the Visitor Center at the end of the Hoh road.
Nearby is the Spruce Nature Trail , 1.25 miles round-trip. Short uneven grades on both trails. Both are excellent examples of rain forests with dense lush vegetation. Elk and deer are sometimes seen in the area. There is also a paved .25 mile mini trail.
The Sams River Loop Trail is three miles in length and can be started at the Queets Ranger Station or the trailhead one mile east of the station. The trail passes both the Queets and Sams Rivers as well as through former homestead meadows. Elk are often seen early morning or late evening in the meadows.
Maple Glade Rain Forest Trail is a 1/2 mile loop nature trail that takes about thirty minutes to stroll. Across the bridge from the Quinault Ranger Station.
Graves Creek Nature Trail begins at Graves Creek campground and is a one mile loop trail through the temperate rain forest.
Details on Best Bets
Hoh River Trail (Hoh trailhead to Blue Glacier, 18 miles)
This is an NPS high-use, all-purpose trail to Elk Lake. There's a foot trail beyond Elk Lake to the glacier moraine. The trail follows an easy grade, but is very muddy most of the year for the first 12 miles along the Hoh River. The trail makes a high crossing of the river on a steel horse bridge at Glacier Creek and begins a steady, steep (3,000 feet in 4.2 miles) ascent to Elk Lake, Clacier Meadows and the moraine. The Hoh Valley is a fine example of temperate rain forest with large timber, mosses and alder flats. At the Hoh River crossing, the trail enters the montane zone, and then the subalpine zone at Glacier Meadows. Elk and deer are commonly seen. Although there are few views within the valley, the climb to Glacier Meadows beyond Elk Lake is a scenic one. Elk Lake offers limited fishing and views to the headwaters of Glacier Creek. Immediately above Glacier Meadows, the trail enters the alpine zone. Those planning climbs of Mt. Olympus should register at the Hoh Visitor Center. Glacier travel is encountered so proper mountaineering equipment and experience are essential.
Custom Correct - Mt. Olympus Climbers
Green Trails - Mount Tom, Wash # 133
Access: The Hoh Road (14 miles south of Forks on US 101) is paved 18.5 miles to the end. A ranger station, visitor center, trailhead, corral, campground (no hook-ups), and dump station are located near the end of the road.
The visitor center has exhibits, two nature trails and interpretive services during the summer. The visitor center and ranger station are open all year.
Trail Use: Primary destinations on the Hoh River Trail are the Olympus Guard Station meadow (in the Hoh Valley), Elk Lake , and Glacier Meadows. There are numerous less-used campsites and water sources enroute to Olympus Guard Station and 1.5 miles above. Purify all water. Campsites are fewer beyond this point to the trail end, except for the Elk Lake area and Glacier Meadows. Lewis Meadow, 1.5 miles above Olympus Guard Station is a suitable area for overnight use with pack stock (no drift fence).
0.0 Hoh Trailhead (600 ft. elevation)
0.9 1st Campsites(600 ft.)
5.0 5 mile Island (700 ft.)
5.7 Happy Four Shelter (700 ft.)
9.1 Olympus Guard Station camping area (948 ft.)
9.7 Jct. with Hoh Lake Trail (1,000 ft.)
11.2 Lewis Meadow (1,000 ft.)
15.1 Elk Lake (2,600 ft.)
17.3 Glacier Meadows Ranger Station (4,300 ft.)
18.0 Terminus of Blue Glacier (end of trail) (5,000 ft.)
Off-Season Use: Fewer difficulties may be encountered on the lower Hoh River than many other trails in the park during the off-season. Hikers will still have to contend with high standing water, washed out foot bridges and down trees and mud. At higher elevations, snow and high winds will be encountered.
Management Concerns: This area receives extremely heavy use, especially from spring to fall. Camping quotas are in effect. Register at Hoh ranger station or the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles, phone (360) 452-0300.
Major impact areas are Happy Four, Olympus Guard Station, Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows. There are other less impacted camping areas available as alternatives. Camp in previously existing sites only. Stoves-only from Elk Lake to and beyond Glacier Meadows. Camping at Elk Lake is away from and above the Lake. Some restoration activities have been started.
(End of Queets Road to Pelton Creek Shelter, 16 miles)
The Queets Trail is one of the least traveled trails in the park. It is a low elevation rain forest trail that is often wet and muddy. You must wade across the Queets River to access the trailhead. Fording the river can be dangerous and is not recommended during periods of high water. However, it offers excellent opportunities for viewing old growth forest and herds of elk as well as "catch and release" fishing. The trail begins on the north side of the Queets River and extends up the valley for approximately 16 miles. The large Douglas fir is 2.5 miles from the trailhead. The Spruce Bottom and Bob Creek shelters no longer exist. The trail dead-ends at the Pelton Creek emergency shelter.
Custom Correct-Queets Valley, Washington
Green Trails-Kloochman Rock-Wash-#165
Access: Drive approximately 14 miles east of U. S. Highway 101 on the Queets Valley Road. The road is gravel and passable to most vehicles, but it is rough and narrow. The Queets Valley Road begins at Highway 101 approximately 18 miles northwest of Lake Quinault or 7 miles southeast of Queets village on the Quinault Indian Reservation.
Trail Use: The nearest public phones are located approximately 16.5 miles southeast of the Queets Valley Road at Brannon's Grocery Store in Amanda Park or 12 miles northwest of the Queets Valley Road at the Kalaloch Lodge. The Queets Ranger Station is staffed only seasonally. Campfires are permitted except during high fire danger periods. Please use existing fire rings and only dead and down firewood. Do not allow the fire to exceed three feet in diameter. Never leave any fire unattended. Backcountry permits can be obtained from the trail register box.
0.0 Queets Trailhead (300 ft. elevation)
2.5 Douglas Fir (400 ft.)
5.0 Spruce Bottom (500 ft.)
11.0 Bob Creek (700 ft.)
16.0 Pelton Creek Shelter (800 ft.)
Management Concerns: No facilities exist on the Queets Trail. Pit toilets are located along the road at Salmon River, Queets Ranger Station, Queets Campground, and the trailhead. Bears, cougars, and elk are all seen in the Queets Valley. All three are potentially dangerous. View them from a distance. Possession of all weapons is illegal in the Queets Valley. Pets and bicycles are prohibited on trails and in the backcountry. The Queets River can rise rapidly, stranding hikers on the north side of the river. Water is available from the Queets River and numerous tributary streams which cross the trail. All water should be treated, filtered, or boiled as a precaution against giardiasis.
Bogachiel River Trail
(Bogachiel Trailhead to Deer Lake Junction, 28.4 miles)
Private land/NPS low-use trail. All purpose trail to Mink Lake junction, foot trail from that point to Deer Lake. Trail follows an even grade along the river with periodic short ascents gradually along a wooded ridge to Deer Park. The Bogachiel Valley is a temperate rain forest, with the montane zone being reached at about 23 miles. Slide Pass is a subalpine area, as is Deer Lake. The Bogachiel has good fishing for 17 miles, mostly trout but some steelhead in season. There are limited views of Mt. Olympus from Slide Pass, but good views to the south and west. The trail then passes throughforests to Deer Lake. Elk can be see in the valley. Slide Pass has a beauiful wildflower display, although it is not extensive.
Custom Correct - Bogachiel Valley
Green Trails - Mt. Tom
Access: The Undie Road (Forest Serice road #2932), which begins across from Bogachiel State Park, leaves US 101 at a point 5.5 miles south of Forks. The trailhead (road end) is 4.6 mies from US 101. There is a parking area and trailhead sign. The trail passes through private land for the first 1.9 miles to the Park Boundary. The trail is often very muddy. The creeks along the trail can be difficult to cross during periods of high water. Bogachiel State Park is the closest developed camping facility.
Trail Use: Primary destination is the Bogachiel Ranger Station meadow. There are numberous campsites and watersources the first 21 miles. Both are limited the remainder of the trail until Deer Lake. This trail is notrecommended for stock.
0.0 Bogachiel road end (400 ft. elevation)
1.9 Park boundary (480 ft.)
6.1 Jct. with Rugged Ridge Trail (400 ft.)
6.1 Bogachiel camp and Ranger Station (400 ft.)
8.1 Jct. with Bogachiel-Hoh Trail (650 ft.)
22.1 Slide Pass (4,000 ft.)
24.8 Jct. with Mink Lake Trail (4,130 ft.)
28.4 Deer Lake (3,600 ft.)
Off-Season Use: Very few of the creek crossings in the valley have bridges. Therefore, off-season travel is dependent on water levels, as creeks can be very difficult to cross. The bi-channel crossing near the trailhead poses an obstacle when the river level is high. Trees may fall across the unmaintained logging road before the trailhead road end.
Management Concerns: Most use occurs at Bogachiel Camp, 62 miles from the road. Camp lightly to help maintain the pristine character of the Bogachiel Valley. Deer Lake receives very heavy use, especially from day hikers. Additional use by overnighters has created impact and sanitation problems. Stoves-only zone extends from Little Divide to and beyond Deer Lake.
(Three Lakes to Elip Junction to Low Divide, 45.2 miles)
There is a good chance for elk and bear observations. Reflection Lake and Lake Beauty are passed. Snow lingers along the ridge. Vast meadows and snowfields compliment views of Mt. Olympus, the Valhallas, and other peaks. This difficult trail follows Skyline Ridge with steep hills, generally climbing northward. Route-finding is sometimes difficult in scree or meadows. Water is scarce from Three Prune to Kimta Peak late in the season. Campsites are common. Best time to plan for the trip is August - September. Lingering snow at higher elevations makes this trail very difficult, with extreme route finding difficulties. Trail may be difficult or impassable due to snow, windfallen trees, or damaged bridges. Hang food and garbage to avoid encounters with bears. Camp only in area devoid of vegetation above treeline.
Custom Correct - Quinault-Colonel Bob
7.5 min USGS - Mt. Christie
Access: From the Quinault North Shore Road (46 miles north of Hoquiam), it is 7 1/2 miles to the end of the pavement and 11 miles of gravel road to the North Fork Trailhead. The road is not recommended for trailers. There is limited parking available at the trailhead. There are campsites (primitive) in the nearby North Fork Campground, and a summer ranger station.
0.0 North Fork Ranger Station (500 ft. elevation)
16.2 Low Divide (3,550 ft.)
23.9 Lake Beauty Jct (5,050 ft.)
38.7 Three Lakes (3,200 ft.)
45.2 Junction with North Fork Road (500 ft.)
Off-Season Use: During the winter and early spring seasons, the Sky Line Trail is subject to high avalanche danger at the upper elevations. Check on conditions at the ranger station, and make on-site assessments as you travel. Route-finding is extremely difficult well into June.
East Fork Quinault River Trail
(Graves Creek Trailhead to Anderson Pass, 17.5 miles)
NPS all-purpose trail with moderate use. It ascends 600' along the old road grade for the first 2 miles before dropping back down to the river and ascending gradually for 13 miles. Both Fire and Pyrites Creeks can be difficult to cross after heavy rain. The last 3 miles climbs steadily up to Anderson Pass. The route is through temperate rain forest, generally along the river, until breaking out into open meadows at and above Enchanted Valley. The rocky climb beyond is through a subalpine setting.
Custom Correct - Enchanted Valley, Skokomish
Green Trails - Mt. Steele, Mt. Christie
Access: From the Quinault South Shore Road at US 101 (43 miles north of Hoquiam) it is 19.2 miles to the trailhead. 11 miles are unpaved and difficult for trailers. The road sometimes washes out in the off-season. Parking is available at the trailhead. Ranger station (summer) and primitive campground are .5 mile before the trailhead. A small horse camping area is located a mile below the ranger station.
Trail Use: Although Enchaned Valley is a primary destination, there are many campsites and water sources enroute.Meadows in the upper Valley provide campsites and grazing. Pack stock should be kept in this area.
0.0 Graves Creek Trailhead (646 ft. elevation)
3.5 Fire Creek (964 ft.)
9.0 Pyrites Creek (1,500 ft.)
13.0 Enchanted Valley, chalet and ranger station (2,000 ft.)
14.0 upper valley, horse area (no drift fence)
16.0 Jct. with O'Neil Pass Trail (3,010 ft.)
17.5 Anderson Pass (4,464 ft.)
Points of Interest: The view from Enchanted Valley is of a 4,000' rock wall extending up and down valley, with manywaterfalls. There are also views of the hanging glacier moraine and climbing routes on Mt. Anderson. Elkand bear are often seen in Enchanted Valley. Fishing is good in the upper East Fork. The Enchanted ValleyChalet was built in 1930.
Off-Season: Pyrites Creek crossing changes annually; in some years it must be waded. Avalanche hazard can beconsiderable above the valley which is commonly snow covered by January.
Management Concerns: Enchanted Valley is a popular camping location and may be subject to quotas or reservations in the future. Anderson Pass is a no open fires zone and a fragile subalpine area where camping is discouraged. Goats can present a nuisance to campers at the Pass.
North Fork Quinault River Trail
(North Fork Trailhead to Low Divide, 16.5 miles)
NPS all purpose trail with moderate use. Gradual grade follows the river for 12 miles, the trail leaves the rain forest lowland, ascends through the montane zone and emerges into the subalpine zone at approximately the 15 mile mark.
Custom Correct - Quinault, Colonel Bob
Green Trails - Mt. Christie
Access: From the Quinalt North Shore Road (46 miles north of Hoquiam), it is 7.5 miles to the end of the pavementand 11 miles of gravel road to the North Fork Trailhead. The road is not recommended for trailers. There islimited parking available at the trailhead. There are primitive campsites in the nearby North Fork Campground, and a summer ranger station.
Trail Use: There are numerous campsites and water sources in the first 13 miles. Past that point, while ascending,campsites are few until about 1/2 mile below Low Divide. Stock should be kept in the westernmost meadow in the divide area (drift fence and gate).
0.0 North Fork Trailhead519 ft. elevation)
2.5 Wolf Bar camping area (800 ft.)
7.0 Francis Creek camping area (1,088 ft.)
8.2Trapper camping area (1,200 ft.)
12.2 Twelve Mile camp (1,700 ft.)
13.3 Sixteen Mile camp (2,005 ft.)
15.8 Marmot Meadows stock area (drift fence)
16.2 Low Divide ranger station, camping area (3,602 ft.)
16.5 Low Divide, Lakes Mary and Margaret
Points of Interest: Fishing and wildlife viewing are good in the valley and at Low Divide. The two lakes at the divide also offer high lake swimming, as they do get warm during the summer. Views from the divide are of the immediate subalpine area.
Off-Season Use: When snow-covered, the upper part of the trail is difficult to follow due to route-finding difficulties and long hillside stretches. Glacier Creek Bridge is very difficult to cross with heavy snow accumulation, and snow- line on the trail is frequently at that point in late spring.
Management Concerns: Wolf Bar should be camped lightly. Low divide is heavily used by groups.
Graves Creek Trail
(Graves Creek Trailhead to Lake Sundown, 8 miles)
NPS foot trail of low use, ascending from 650' to 4,000' in 8 miles. It climbs the Graves Creek Canyon to the crossing of Success Creek, which can be very difficult off-season and during heavy summer rain. The trail ascends through lowland forest to alpine meadows.
Custom Correct - Enchanted Valley, Skokomish
7.5 min USGS - Mt. Hoquiam
Green Trails - Mt. Christie
Access: From the Quinault South Shore Road at US 101 (43 miles north of Hoquiam) it is 19.2 miles to the trailhead. Eleven miles are unpaved and difficult for trailers. The road sometimes washes out in the off-season. Parking is available at the trailhead. Ranger station (summer) and primitive campground are .5 mile before the trailhead. A small horse camping area is located a mile below the ranger station.
Trail Use: Primary destination is Lake Sundown. There are also campsites below the lake at the confluence of the eastand west forks of Success Creek. There is usually adequate water along the trail.
0.0 Graves Creek Trailhead (646 ft. elevation)
3.0 Success Creek crossing (1,900 ft.)
7.0 Jct.with Wynochee Pass Trail (2,900 ft.)
7.5 Jct. with Sundown Pass Trail (3,600 ft.)
8.0 Lake Sundown (3,900 ft.)
Points of Interest: The Graves Creek Basin meadows offer views of the immediate alpine area. Wildflowers in season and elkherds in summer and early fall. Lake Sundown is located in an alpine basin, and offers limited fishing.
Management Concerns: Lake Sundown is a "no fires" area. Visitors are encouraged to use campsites in the Graves Creek Basin,which is before the lake, since there are no campsites which are at least 100 feet from the shoreline of LakeSundown. Quinauit South Shore Rd. closed as of spring 1996 due to a washout. Use North Shore Road.
More hikes in. . .
Olympic Coast - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067760.html
Northern Olympics - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067757.html
Elwha River-Hurricane Ridge - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067763.html
the Rainshadow - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067761.html
Hood Canal - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067765.html
Western Approaches - http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-olympic-national-park-hiking-sidwcmdev_067762.html