GRAVES CREEK PRIMITIVE TRAIL...6.2 MILES
SUNDOWN LAKE TRAIL SIX RIDGE PRIMITIVE TRAIL
DIRECTIONS TO : GRAVES CREEK TRAILHEAD - MILEPOST 126
NEAREST CAMPGROUND: Graves Creek (500 feet from trail head )
RANGER STATION : Ranger stations, toilets, water in campgrounds (summer only)
..."Graves Creek Trail. . . Low use, steep climb, great views and wildlife. Now that's wilderness!..."
GRAVES CREEK TRAIL TO SUNDOWN LAKE - (8 miles) -
This trail also begins at the end of South Shore Road past the Graves Creek Ranger Station. It climbs above Graves Creek, gaining elevation gradually, then steadily arriving at the confluence of Graves Creek and Success Creek at approximately four miles. The stream must be forged at this point, which can be difficult in spring or at times of heavy rain. It is crossed quite easily, however, in the late summer, and one can continue on to beautiful Sundown Lake. This is considered a way trail and is not as heavily used as the Enchanted Valley Trail.
Also, Sundown Lake can be reached from logging roads in the Olympic National Forest following the Winched Trail. The lake receives much heavier usage than indicated by the numbers entering the Graves Creek Trailhead. One can continue to explore beyond Sundown Lake by way of, trail along the north fork of the Skokomish over Six Ridge and out the Duckabush.
GRAVES CREEK CAMPGROUND NATURE TRAIL (1 mile) -
This trail is a circle beginning and ending near the river adjacent to Graves Creek campground provides the casual visitor an opportunity to experience the rainforest without expending great effort.
ENCHANTED VALLEY TRAIL -
This is a heavily used trail beginning at the end of the South Shore Road, 1/2 mile past the Graves Creek Ranger Station. Many day hikers elect to follow the trail only as far as Pony Bridge (2-1/2 miles), a scenic spot and good turn around point for those with a limited time schedule.
From this point on, the trail basically follows the river, terminating at the chalet, a two-story log structure built in 1930, now partially used as the backcountry ranger station. There are several good camping sites along the way. It is possible to continue beyond the chalet trail to Anderson Pass or O'Neil Pass and even on to follow the Duckabush or Dosewallips rivers out to the other side of the park. This is often done in one direction or the other by summer backpackers.
The 13-mile out-and-back hike begins in lush rainforest and climbs gently up the East Fork of the Quinault River to a spectacular payoff: a vast glacial cirque that's surrounded by sheer, 4,000-foot mountain walls and is home to black-tailed deer, black bear, and Roosevelt elk. Pitch your tent at one of many established campsites or sleep on the floor of the 1930s-vintage Enchanted Valley Chalet. Allow a couple extra days for exploring, such as taking the 4.5-mile day hike to Anderson Pass for outstanding views of the Pacific and Puget Sound Basin.
Local Wisdom: If you don't make it all the way to Anderson Pass, at least hike two miles beyond the chalet to see one of the biggest western hemlocks on the planet: nine feet in diameter.
Access to the Olympic glaciers is by trails and cross-country routes. The most visited glaciers in the Park are the Blue and Anderson. From the Hoh Rain Forest, the upriver hiking trail leads 18 miles up to the snout of Blue Glacier. Anderson Glacier can be reached by hiking the Dosewallips River Trail for 11 miles or from the west side by the East Fork of the Quinault River for 16 miles. To visit the other glaciers requires more mountaineering knowledge and time - see my page about ice sheets and glaciers (on menu page).
Aerial photos by Lotus54 from NWHikers.net
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes.