Northwest Hike Of The Week -- Ranger Hole, Duckabush River
Difficulty rating (1-5): 1 Scenic rating (1-10): 8
Length/Time: 1.6 mi/1.0 hrs. User groups: Hikers and dogs only. No mountain bikes or horses. Permits: None needed. Directions: From Hoodsport, drive 22 miles north on US 101 and turn west on Forest Service Road 2510 (follow signs to the Duckabush Recreation Area). Drive the road for four miles to the end of the pavement. Interrorem Guard Station and the Ranger Hole Trailhead are on the left side of the road; there's a parking lot and picnic area. Contact: Hood Canal Ranger District, (360) 877-5254. Trail notes: The "Ranger Hole" for with this trail is named is a Duckabush River fishing hole that dates to the early 1900s, when a ranger lived full-time in the Interrorem Guard Station. Consider this: That was way, way before Tuna Helper, and rangers had to rely on local trout for a hot, fresh meal on lonely evenings along the Duckabush. To find them, they bounded down a side trail to the river, which since has become a popular, maintained trail for thousands of visitors in all seasons. On your way to the river, you'll pass unusually rotund second-growth Douglas fir. you'll also find large maples, a delight in autumn, and many wild birds and small critters. At the river, the deep, aqua waters of Ranger Hole are mesmerizing. The deep pool lies just below moving whitewater, which supplies a burst of bubbles. Fishing, unfortunately, isn't what it used to be here. But the trail makes a great family hike in its own right.
More hikes: For similar details on 999 other great hikes in Washington and Oregon, consult "Pacific Northwest
Hiking: The Complete Guide," by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelson (Foghorn Press).
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