Hiking Olympic National Park  by Erik Molvar

Hiking Olympic National Park Guide Book

by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Olympic National Park  by Erik Molvar
This updated edition of Hiking Olympic National Park features 66 of the finest trails in and around the park plus 40 additional trail recommendations throughout northwest Washington’s spectacular landscape. These trails crisscross the park’s wilderness ecosystem, stretching from the beaches of the Pacific to the heart of the Olympic Mountains. Whether you choose a strenuous backpacking trip over glacier-clad mountains or a short stroll through a temperate rain forest, veteran trail guide and author Erik Molvar provides all the information you need to make the most of hiking the Olympic Peninsula.

© 2015 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Olympic National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 67.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 67.

A 10.5-mile backpack (one-way) from the Dosewallips Ranger Station to Anderson Pass. Begin at the Dosewallips Trailhead. This popular hike follows the West Fork of the Dosewallips to Anderson Pass, connecting there with a spur trail to Anderson Glacier as well as the Enchanted Valley Trail. The hike currently begins with about 5.5 miles of hiking up a washed-out portion of the old Dosewallips Road.
Brinnon, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 21
A 22.7-mile backpack from the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road to the Storm King Ranger Station over Aurora Ridge. This trail is well-defined from Sol Duc Hot Springs Road to Aurora Springs, but then it disappears in the open meadows behind Aurora Peak. It becomes distinct again as it approaches the Barnes Creek drainage. The grade into the Barnes Creek valley is long and steep, and hikers who attempt the hike should approach from the west to avoid having to climb it. After the initial plunge into the forest, the trail swings south, following an old roadbed shaded by red alder.
Sappho, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 22.7
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A 4.6-mile day hike (one way) or short backpack from Obstruction Point to Grand Lake.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.2
A 23.2-mile (one way) backpack from Forest Road 2932 to the Mink Lake-Little Divide Trail.
Forks, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 46.4
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This is an extended 13.7-mile trip from Gray Wolf Camp to Dose Meadows. This trail links the Gray Wolf and Dosewallips drainages, crossing Cameron and Lost Passes along the way. The grades to the passes are exceedingly steep when approached from the south, and travelers are advised to approach them from the much less strenuous northern side. This trail is well known for its late-lingering snowfields on the eastern approach to Cameron Pass, and an ice axe is often required. The trail begins at Gray Wolf Camp and runs downhill to cross a footlog over the river. It then follows the riverbank upstream to the Three Forks shelter, where a cutoff trail descends from the Deer Park auto campground. The camp occupies a grassy clearing in the gloomy forest beside the confluence of Grand and Cameron Creeks (the Gray Wolf enters some distance downstream from this point).
Sequim, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 27.4
A short day hike across the Makah Indian Reservation to a craggy headland that marks the northwesternmost point in the lower 48 states, 1.2 miles round-trip. This hike makes a short traverse through the Makah tribal wilderness to reach the crest of Cape Flattery, where stark cliffs rise above sea stacks and grottoes carved out by the thundering surf. This spot is one of the most dramatic “land’s ends” on Earth, marking the northwesternmost point in the coterminous United States.
Neah Bay, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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A day hike of 8.4 miles round-trip from FR 2204 to the summit of Colonel Bob, or a 7.8 mile backpack one-way to the Lake Quinault South Shore Road. This trail climbs into a fragment of mountainous wilderness above Lake Quinault. There are camping opportunities at the Mulkey shelter and Moonshine Flats, or the trek can be done as a day hike. The easiest road access is from the north, but the hike gains much less elevation when the trail is approached from the Pete’s Creek side. The trek begins in a damp lowland forest in the valley of the West Fork of the Humptulips. Scattered conifers rise above a luxuriant undergrowth of ferns, shrubs, and mosses.
Neilton, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.4
A 7.9-mile (one way) side-trip day hike or backpack from the Dosewallips Ranger Station to Home Lake.
Brinnon, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 15.8
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An 18.8-mile (one way) backpack from Whiskey Bend to Remann’s Cabin on the Elwha River.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 18.8
A 21.1-mile backpack (one-way) from Forest Road 2510 to Marmot Lake.
Brinnon, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 42.2
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A day hike along the beach to a series of arches and sea stacks, 7.2 miles round-trip. This day hike visits a cluster of arches and sea stacks at the mouth of the Raft River, including fanciful Elephant Rock. The hike is on the Quinault Indian Reservation; visitors must get a beach pass from the tribal government for a nominal fee. Overnight camping is not allowed on the reservation; visitors must approach the trek as an out-and-back affair in one day. Although the hike is almost level, the very tricky descent to the beach and the soft nature of the beach sands and gravels make for a physically demanding trek.
Taholah, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.2
A 7.4-mile day hike from Obstruction Point to Deer Park. This trail offers a point-to-point hike across alpine ridges from Obstruction Point in the west to the Deer Park Campground in the east. Water is scarce along this route, so be sure to bring along a plentiful supply. The trail begins by crossing a grassy bowl that is home to a marmot colony; the engaging behavior of these social rodents can entertain for hours. The path drops across the steep headwall of the Badger Valley as it rounds Obstruction Peak, and the Badger Valley Trail drops away to the right.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.4
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A 29-mile backpack from the Whiskey Bend trailhead to the upper Elwha Basin or Low Divide. This trail penetrates deep into the heart of Olympic National Park, following a valley bottom with a grade gentle enough for novices. In 1889–90 an expedition of fools and drunkards organized by the Seattle Press newspaper used this route to cross the Olympic Mountains, a journey that took them almost six months. The same trip can now be completed in a single week by an experienced backpacker. Watch for the rare and colorful harlequin duck and the tiny water ouzel amid the churning, turquoise waters of the Elwha River.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 29
An 18.1-mile one way backpack from the Graves Creek trailhead to Anderson Pass.
Queets, WA - Backpacking,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 36.2
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A 7.4-mile backpack from the Staircase Ranger Station to Flapjack Lakes. This popular route climbs to a series of alpine lakes that sprinkle the high shelves around Mount Gladys. The Flapjack Lakes camping area has received such heavy use that rehabilitation efforts have been undertaken to revegetate the trampled spots, and the limited permits required for camping here are issued at the Staircase Ranger Station. Gladys Divide makes a fine side trip from the Flapjack Lakes, and the Black and White Lakes Trail offers a more wild and remote destination.
Hoodsport, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 14.8
A series of day hikes in the lower reaches of the Elwha River valley.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.6
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A 7.6-mile round-trip day hike from Obstruction Point to Grand Lake, or an 8.1-mile backpack one-way to Cameron Creek. This outstanding hike combines the Lillian Ridge and Grand Pass Trails to link Obstruction Point with the Cameron Valley. Along the way the route runs alpine ridges, passes sparkling lakes, and offers sweeping views of the eastern Olympics. From Obstruction Point the trail climbs onto the rounded top of Lillian Ridge, clad in grassy meadows that are populated by colonies of playful marmots. The ridgetop is soon dominated by an arid alpine tundra, in which hardy flowers like dwarf lupine, phlox, and fleabane eke out a hardscrabble existence in the high winds, short growing seasons, and lack of water found here. Spectacular scenery abounds on all sides.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.6
A 15.2-mile backpack loop that climbs to the crest of Happy Lake Ridge. This trail provides access to the pools of Olympic Hot Springs, then climbs up to an alpine ridgetop for sweeping views of the peaks to the south. The path is heavily traveled as far as the Boulder Creek campground, but the ridge walk itself receives only light traffic. For the first 2.2 miles, the trek follows an old paved road along the forested banks of Boulder Creek. This road ends at a junction below the Boulder Creek campground.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 15.2
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An extended 10.7-mile trip (one way) from the Elwha River to Dose Meadows. This trail leaves the Elwha River Trail 100 yards north of the Hayes River bridge, on the elevated terrace to the east of the patrol cabin. This trail connects the Elwha and Dosewallips drainages over a high route that offers almost uninterrupted mountain vistas from end to end. Late-lingering snowfields on the east side of the pass are steep and often unstable. Early season travelers who use this trail will need an ice axe and proper training in avalanche safety.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 21.4
This is a 17.6-mile backpack loop that climbs to the spine of the High Divide. This trail offers an outstanding ridge walk along the alpine divide of the Hoh River, featuring magnificent views of Mount Olympus and passing several beautiful lake basins along the way. Sunrises and sunsets are particularly spectacular here, with sublime displays of alpenglow on the snow-clad peaks. Because of the popularity of the area, a reservation system has been put in place for the trail to ensure visitors of a wilderness experience. Permits are available at the Sol Duc Ranger Station and must be obtained in person. From the trailhead a broad path winds eastward through the towering bottomland forest. The trail forks at the Sol Duc Falls shelter; travelers can approach the loop from either direction, but it will be discussed here as a counterclockwise trek.
Sappho, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 17.6
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