Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition  by Craig Romano

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition Guide Book

by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition  by Craig Romano
Washington’s Olympic Peninsula features a stunning national park, rugged alpine peaks, grand rivers, a wild coastline, and some of the wettest places in the Lower 48. Expert hiker Craig Romano has explored them all, and shows you not only iconic destinations such as the verdant Hall of Mosses and the jaw-dropping viewpoints of Hurricane Ridge, but also some personal favorites, such as the Salmon Art Trail that entertains as it teaches about Willapa National Wildlife Refuge’s native fauna or the so-new-it’s-unnamed trail along Glines Canyon that reveals the healing restoration of the Elwha River after dam removal.

© 2016 Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 136.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 136.

This hike replicates the route of Captain William Clark’s famous hike of 1805. Travel a mostly paved path from the Port of Ilwaco over a bluff through maritime forest to coastal wetlands and waves of dunes along the Pacific Ocean. Stop at historical displays along the way, including a gray whale skeleton and magnificent bronze sculptures commemorating the Corps of Discovery’s epic journey. You can access this trail at ten different locations, including from the Bolstad Arch in Long Beach, making for plenty of shorter hiking options. Any section will do, but try to arrange for a car shuttle to do the whole trail in one sweep. Strong hikers and runners won’t have any problem doing the complete trail out-and-back.
Ilwaco, WA - Hiking,Mountain Biking,Road Biking - Trail Length: 8.2 miles
Set in a quiet valley just 1 mile east of Discovery Bay, Anderson Lake is a peaceful body of water teeming with fish and wildlife. Once the centerpiece to farmland owned by William F. Anderson, the 70-acre lake and surrounding fields and forest are now part of a 476-acre state park. Hike well-maintained and lightly used trails through the old homestead and around the lake within this pastoral park. More than 8 miles of trails traverse this lovely park. A good introduction is the easy 2.3-mile hike around Anderson Lake. Start by walking 0.3 mile down the gravel access road through rolling pasture to a trail crossing. The trail heading right is the Olympic (C) Trail, a 1.1-mile rolling woodland romp that eventually leads back to the trailhead when linked with the Anderson (B) Trail.
Chimacum, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.3 miles
This arduous hike through primeval forest leads to one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the Olympics—Appleton Pass, high on the Elwha–Sol Duc divide. Savor stunning vistas of surrounding peaks and deep forested valleys. And marvel at flowered meadows and a sparkling little alpine lake. Start by following the Olympic Hot Springs Trail 2.2 miles to a junction just beyond the Crystal Creek suspension bridge. The Olympic Hot Springs are a short distance to the left. Consider a soak upon your return from this challenging hike. Dogs are prohibited.
Elwha, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 15.2 miles
Despite easy access, Aurora Ridge is one of the least hiked trails in Olympic National Park. Wind through a forested tunnel up this long, lumpy emerald divide between the Sol Duc and Lake Crescent valleys. Then drop into a hidden bowl that cradles the spring-fed, green-tinted Eagle Lakes. While this hike lacks views, it abounds with solitude. The way starts on an old logging road lined with alders and often brushy. After about 1 mile, the trail begins to climb more steadily, switch backing through open forest. Dogs are prohibited.
Port Angeles, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 12.2 miles
Hike one of Olympic National Park’s steepest trails to one of its most obscure summits. Sourdough Mountain rises above a busy highway but sees nary a human visitor. Aside from assured solitude and an excellent workout, enjoy miles of ancient forest and a couple of decent viewpoints of Lake Crescent below and Mount Olympus above a wave of emerald ridges. Following the Aurora Creek Trail, cross a gully and immediately climb. There’s no warming up on this trail, which ascends 3500 feet in 3 miles. Dogs are prohibited.
Port Angeles, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 12 miles
What could be more beautiful than hiking into Royal Basin? Hiking above it and looking down into that glacially carved valley flanked by towering spires and icy summits. The hike to Baldy is brutal—one of the steepest trails in the Olympics. One section gains more than 2700 feet in 2.1 miles. But the views are supreme: countless islands and mountains and broad emerald valleys. And at your feet, a brilliant alpine tundra flower garden. Start on the gentle Upper Dungeness Trail No. 833.2 through a cool forest of towering firs.
Leland, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.4 miles
Venture within the shadow of Mount Ellinor on an enjoyable circuitous route around the Big Creek drainage, and savor the sweet serenity of cascading water. There’s no need to hurry—there are plenty of spots for resting and contemplation along the way. Save this hike for a hot summer day when shaded glens offer respite from the mid-day rays. Forested all the way, and always within earshot of tumbling water, the Big Creek Trail makes a fine rainy-day hike too—especially when stream flow is high, intensifying the many cascades on this hike.
Hoodsport, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.3 miles
The Bogachiel River snakes through Washington’s forgotten rain forest. No main roads run along this major Olympic river, nor do any penetrate its wild valley—all the better to experience the tranquility of towering spruces and firs. Hike all day along the wild waterway for several miles, or wander on a wonderful short interpretive loop. Except for the river’s soothing churn and sweet serenades from resident wrens, the primeval forest is quiet. Lichens drape overhead. Fern boughs burst open from the forest floor. Dew-dripping moss clings to everything. Dogs prohibited at park boundary.
Forks, WA - Backpacking,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 12 miles
Hike to an emerald subalpine lake through miles of magnificent old growth. Come in midsummer and enjoy a swim. Visit in late summer and reap a bounty of succulent huckleberries. Make the trip on a chilly autumn day and look forward to a hot-springs soak on the way out. This hike starts off fairly easy along an old roadbed, traveling high above Boulder Creek, traversing steep slopes, and crossing cascading creeks. Dogs are prohibited.
Elwha, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 12 miles
Hike along a boardwalk to views of the expansive mudflats of Grays Harbor’s Bowerman Basin. One of the finest places in all of Washington for bird-watching, the basin is inundated with shorebirds from late April until early May. Plan your trip accordingly and witness tens of thousands of migrating birds. Consider visiting during Hoquiam’s annual Shorebird Festival in early May. Start by walking the gated paved airport road west along a row of hangars and a thicket of willows. At 0.4 mile, reach the Sandpiper Trail. This nicely built boardwalk allows easy access to the 1500-acre Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge.
Hoquiam, WA - Birding,Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 1.9 miles
Travel through a tranquil old-growth Sitka spruce and western hemlock forest perched on a bluff at the treacherous mouth of the Columbia River. And admire sweeping views of the fishing community of Ilwaco on Baker Bay, set against the rolling backdrop of the cloud-cloaked Bear River Range. Lined with alders and sword ferns, the trail immediately begins climbing, soon coming to a junction. Head right, you’ll be returning on the left. At 0.2 mile, come to a junction that offers a shorter loop (0.5 mile) option.
Ilwaco, WA - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 1.4 miles
Hike along a rugged headland through a salt-sprayed maritime forest to Cape Disappointment’s dramatic North Head Lighthouse. From the high headland and its 1898 lighthouse, take in breathtaking views that include thundering waves, windswept dunes, and scores of shorebirds skimming the crashing Pacific surf. There are over 8 miles of hiking trails in 1882-acre Cape Disappointment State Park. Once the location of Fort Canby, a military reservation established in 1852 (before Washington statehood), the state park was created in the 1950s.
Ilwaco, WA - Birding,Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 3.6 miles
Hike to the northwesternmost point in the continental United States. Here, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific, Cape Flattery protrudes into a sea of tumultuous waters. A land of dramatic headlands, sea stacks, and deep narrow coves, Cape Flattery exhibits sheer rugged beauty. Scores of seabirds ride the surf and scavenge the sea stacks. Watch for whales and sea lions too. And the sunsets . . . they’re simply divine. Thanks to the Makah Indian Nation, the stewards of this land, a well-constructed trail leads to this remote corner of the Northwest. Start on an old road, descending through a mist-drenched forest of Sitka spruces.
Neah Bay, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5 miles
Note: Campground suffered major flood damage impacting trailhead—check with ranger on current status. Ascend high above the Elwha River through attractive open forest. While the view from Cascade Rock is limited, the one from an overlook en route is quite nice. And if you come in early summer it’s framed by a dazzling floral arrangement. Despite beginning in a popular campground, this trail is lightly traveled. Start by crossing a maple-shaded river channel on a bridge. Come to a junction and turn left. Dogs are prohibited.
Elwha, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5 miles
A “slough” of surprises awaits you on this wonderful interpretive trail within the 3000-acre wildlife-rich Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve. Hike along an old logging railroad through the largest tidal surge plain wetland in the state. Along snaking sloughs and through a tunnel of greenery, at times you may think you’re hiking in Louisiana instead of Washington. From 1910 until 1985, trains chugged through this saturated bottomland of scaly-barked spruce and speckled-bark alder. A few years later, trail crews from the Cedar Creek Correctional Camp helped transform the abandoned line into a great little trail. The first 0.5 mile is wheelchair-accessible. Trail is subject to flooding.
Alder Grove, WA - Birding,Hiking - Trail Length: 7 miles
Hike a forgotten but restored trail through some of the biggest trees this side of the Hoh River. Church Creek epitomizes why the southern flank of the Olympics was cherished (and nearly completely cut over) by the big timber companies. Towering Douglas-firs reach dizzying heights, and wide-girth cedars and hemlocks hundreds of years old line the trail from end to end. The Satsop Lakes make a satisfying destination—peaceful and scenic—but the forest is the star of this hike. FR Spur 600 is rough, requires high-clearance vehicle.
Shelton, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4 miles
This challenging hike leads through miles of towering old-growth forest to a prominent peak on the western edge of the Olympic Mountains. From its aerie summit more than 4000 feet above the Quinault Valley, stare down at shimmering Lake Quinault. And when cloud cover is scarce you can see from Mount Olympus to the Pacific. Closed for several years due to a massive windfall, this trail is once again open thanks to the Washington Trails Association. And who was Colonel Bob? Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll was a Civil War veteran, politician, orator, and free thinker who never stepped foot on this peak.
Quinault, WA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 14.6 miles
Hike across dunes along a shifting creek to a quiet spit teeming with birdlife. Located just a few miles from bustling Ocean Shores, Griffiths-Priday State Park’s sandy beach is vehicle-free and often deserted. One of the quietest stretches of beach south of the Quinault Indian Reservation, the Copalis River Spit makes for a good hike any time of year. Protected within the 364-acre Griffiths-Priday State Park, this little stretch of beach is as wild as any in the state.
Copalis Beach, WA - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 4 miles
Follow a steep trail alongside crashing Copper Creek through a deep and narrow ravine. Explore a couple of old mine sites, and then continue onward through primeval forest to a high and narrow shoulder of Lightning Peak. Built originally in 1915 by prospectors searching for copper and manganese, this long-abandoned Trail No. 876 was rebuilt in the early 2000s by volunteers. Integrating some of the original tread, the new trail is just as steep and challenging as the original. It’s just as wild and beautiful too.
Hoodsport, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.3 miles
Hike along a salmon-bearing river through an old homestead, now a state park. Where cattle once grazed, elk now browse. Look for eagles, otters, and bears too as you wander an old farm road through a valley in the rain-soaked hills of the state’s northwest corner. Walk around the gate and begin hiking along an old farm road that parallels the Little Hoko River. Across the river lie old barns and pastures, all part of the 522-acre Cowan Ranch Heritage Area.
Sekiu, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3 miles