Gray Wolf Pass Trail

Notices

Obtain your Wilderness Camping Permit at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles, year round.
Check with USFS for Deer Park road status

Description

Ecosystem type: Montane Forest
Trail tread types: Maintained
General elevation trend: Mild
Unique features: Views
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.0 Elevation change: 2000 ft. to 1800 ft.
Best Season: May through October
Connecting Trails: Upper Graywolf River Trail, Cameron Creek Trail, Three Forks Trail

Comments:

Gray Wolf Trail -- A relatively easy 7.7-mile hike through the Olympic National Forest; trailhead is accessible off Lost Mountain Road.

Gain access to the Buckhorn Wilderness, and the northeast corner of Olympic National Park. Visit famed, isolated Royal Basin. Or use this route to connect with trails on the Quilicene and Dosewallips, or to Hurricane Ridge (not easily accessible this year until much repair work is done on the la Nina-shredded Gray Wolf Trail).

Gray Wolf River is Accessible only by trail, the Gray Wolf offers good trout fishing, but only some salmon.

The Gray Wolf River trail downstream 3 miles to the park boundary. This is a hike for strong backpackers only. The climb back to Deer Park is a killer, but hey, it's free.

The Olympic National Forest has five designated Wilderness Areas. Recreation opportunities vary but most offer good opportunities for hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, fishing, and camping in primitive settings. The Buckhorn Wilderness is located in the northeast portion of the Olympic National Forest. A patented mining claim involving 216 acres of private land is within the Wilderness. This Wilderness, the largest on the Forest, includes very steep terrain ranging in elevation from 1,000 feet near the Gray Wolf River, to the summit of Mt. Fricaba at 7,134 feet. Barren ridges and steep, rocky cliffs and peaks are common in the higher elevations.

Just beyond the Elwha Ranger Station is the Whiskey Bend road. Tradition says, Whiskey Bend was named when a C.C.C. crew leader promised whiskey to his men upon reaching this point in their road-building efforts. The road once continued to Hurricane Ridge Road. The abandoned road is now Wolf Creek trail. The Lower Wolf Creek Trail is at the end of this road, at the Deer Park end.

Near the base of Whiskey Bend Road, the Hurricane Hill Trail shoots nearly straight up to Hurricane Ridge. At the other end of the road, the Wolf Creek Trail does the same.

Following the original road to Hurricane Ridge, the Wolf Creek trail offers only sketchy views of nearby peaks in the lower section of trail. The old road closed in the late 1950s when the new Hurricane Ridge Road was completed. BICYCLES are PROHIBITED. Carry several quarts of water with you.

Camping

Permits/Reservations: Obtain permits at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles. No reservations necessary.
Food Storage Method: Bear canisters are required in the subalpine high country where food cannot be hung at least 12 feet high and 10 ft. out from the nearest tree trunk.
Campsites: Deer Park is the nearest
Toilet Facilities: Toliet in campground, bury waste 6-8" 200 ft from water sources and campsites. Please pack out toilet paper.
Water Source: Campground
Stock: Allowed, check stock regulations. See Stock Use .

Special Concerns

Leave No Trace: Leave No Trace of your stay to protect vegetation and prevent further camping regulations. Camp in established sites or on bare ground.
Campfires: To protect sensitive vegetation, campfires are not allowed above 3,500 feet. Leave no trace of your fire ring. Burn dead and down wood only.
Respect Wildlife: To protect bears and other wildlife, all food, garbage and scented items must be secured from all wildlife 24 hours a day. Bear canisters are recommended in this area.

Safety

Always carry the 10 Essentials: map, compass, flashlight, knife, matches, nylon cord, extra food and water, and raingear with warm clothes.
Map & compass navigation skills may be necessary in places along this trail. Snow may cover higher reaches of this trail in any season, so know how to navigate without a trail for guidance.
Let someone know where and when you are taking your hike. Make emergency plans for them to follow if you do not return.
Watch the weather before and during your hike. Storms move quickly. Whiteouts are sudden. Read the weather forecasts, but remember to read the weather in front of your face.
Snow When traveling on snow, bring an ice axe and know how to use it.

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