Sundown Lake Trail

Notices

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

Description

Ecosystem type: Subalpine forest, subalpine meadow
Trail tread types: Primitive
General elevation trend: Mild
Unique features: Views
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.2
Elevation change: 4400 ft. to 3900 ft.
Best Season: Early July through October
Connecting Trails: Graves Creek Trail, Six Ridge Trail, Wynoochee Pass Trail, South Fork Skokomish River Trail

Access:

Graves Creek Trail to Sundown Lake (8 miles) begins at the end of South Shore Road past the Graves Creek Ranger Station. It climbs above Graves Creek, gaining elevation gradually, then steadily arriving at the confluence of Graves Creek and Success Creek at approximately four miles. The stream must be forged at this point, which can be difficult in spring or at times of heavy rain. It is crossed quite easily, however, in the late summer, and one can continue on to beautiful Sundown Lake. This is considered a way trail and is not as heavily used as the Enchanted Valley Trail. Also, Sundown Lake can be reached from logging roads in the Olympic National Forest following the Winched Trail. The lake receives much heavier usage than indicated by the numbers entering the Graves Creek Trailhead. One can continue to explore beyond Sundown Lake by trail along the north fork of the Skokomish over Six Ridge and out the Duckabush.

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: Camping at Graves Creek, 500 feet from trail head
Toilet Facilities: Toliet in campground, bury waste 6-8" 200 ft from water sources and campsites. Please pack out toilet paper.
Water Source: Only at 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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