Meander along one of the Olympic Peninsula’s largest rivers, named for the Quiatso Indian tribe, on a little dead-end road through a temperate rain forest of ferns, flowers and mosses shaded by a canopy of towering conifers. The Queets River, fed by glacial meltwater from Mt. Olympus, is famous for steelhead fishing, and is popular for canoeing and kayaking as well. Watch for rare Roosevelt elk.
Salmon may be seen spawning in the fall and winter as well. You can stop and search for one of the country’s largest western hemlocks (227 feet tall and 291 inches in circumference), the Evergreen State’s official state tree. At the end of the road, you can ford the river—on foot only, and only if conditions permit—and hike the popular Queets River Trail to see the park’s largest Douglas fir (212 feet tall and 533.5 inches in circumference). Heavy rains and flooding can cause washouts and temporary closures.
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