Wolf Creek Trail

Notices

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

Description

Ecosystem type: Montane Forest, subalpine forest, subalpine meadow
Trail tread types: Maintained
General elevation trend: Steep
Unique features: Views
Level of difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Distance: 8.1
Elevation change: 5100 ft. to 1198 ft.
Best Season: June through October
Connecting Trails: None - Stand alone trail

Access:

Drive just beyond the Elwha Ranger Station, turn left onto Whiskey Bend road. The horse corral on your left is now used for park pack stock but was once the site of a civilian conservation camp. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built Whiskey Bend road in the 1930's to provide vehicular access to Hurricane Ridge. Scars of their winch cables are visible on several Douglas fir trees as you proceed up the road.

You pass the Glines Canyon Dam 1-1/2 miles up the road. The dam was built in 1927, predating the park. It was managed by Crown Zellerbach and produces 14 megawatts of electricity.

Deer, elk and (rarely) cougar may be visible along this stretch of road. Two miles above the dam, Cat Peak is visible through the trees on your right. Whiskey Bend is just beyond the Upper Lake Mills trail head (a 1/2-mile walk to a spectacular waterfall).

Whiskey Bend was named when a C.C.C. crew leader promised whiskey to his men if they completed the road to this point. The road once continued to Hurricane Ridge Road. The abandoned road is now The Wolf Creek trail.

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: Few camping options along this trail
Toilet Facilities: Toliet located 5 miles from trail head along Olympic Hot Springs Road
Bury waste 6-8" 200 ft from water sources and campsites. Please pack out toilet paper.
Water Source: Water located 5 miles from trail head along Olympic Hot Springs Road
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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