Heart O' the Hills
Hoh Rain Forest
One of the best ways to see a variety of environments
within the park in a limited amount of time is through short day hikes.
The hikes listed below are suggestions. See the park map for more ideas.
For overnight hikes visit the Wilderness Travel area.
you should know:
Pets are prohibited
on all Park trails
and beaches except at Rialto Beach to Ellen Creek and on the Kalaloch beaches
where they are allowed on leash. These regulations insure the safety of
your pet, the wildlife, and other backcountry users. Pets are allowed on
a leash (up to a 6' in length) in campgrounds and parking areas.
Pack out all garbage
where available. Otherwise,
make your toilet in a shallow cathole, away from campfires and trails,
and at least 200 feet from water.
Leave No Trace
. Help out the future!
Shady Lane Nature Trail
across the bridge from the Staircase Ranger Station. Three miles round
Staircase Rapids Loop Trail
across the bridge from the Ranger Station. It passes through heavy virgin
forest along the Skokomish River, crosses Staircase Rapids at 1.0 mile
and returns to Ranger Station on the east side of the river. Note: Staircase
Rapids bridge is currently out. (Jan. 2004)
O' the Hills
begins and ends 100 yards from the Dosewallips Ranger
Station on the Dosewallips River trail. The Dosewallips River is accessible
along this 1.5 mile trail. Note: Dosewallips Road is closed approx. 5 miles
from the park boundary. (Jan. 2004)
Heart of the Forest Trail
at Loop E of the Heart of the Hills campground. Typical lowland forest
with dense vegetation. 2 miles one way.
Hurricane Hill Trail
the end of the Hurricane Ridge Road. In the 1.5 miles to the top of the
hill are mountain peak vistas, a view of Port Angeles, and the Strait of
Juan de Fuca. Wildflowers are numerous in early summer. Wheelchair accessible
first .5 mile only. This portion is paved but with steep drop-offs and
no guard rail.
Meadow Loop Trails
begin near Hurricane
Ridge Visitor Center. They offer strolls through a typical subalpine environment,
thick with wildflowers in summer. Watch for blacktailed deer (DO NOT FEED!)
and listen for the whistle of the Olympic marmot. The trail continues to
Klahhane Ridge. Paved meadow trails accessible with assistance.
West Lake Mills Trail
the Lake Mills boat launch parking area. (moderate difficulty). Two miles
Griff Creek Trail
the Elwha ranger station and has sections of steep switchbacks. 2.8 miles
one way. Overlook at mile 1.8 (strenuous).
A number of Elwha trails begin at the end
of the Whiskey Bend Road, a narrow gravel road 5 miles south of the Elwha
Ranger Station. At 1.5 miles along the Elwha River Trail turn off to the
Rica Canyon Trail
dropping 1/2 mile to
Krause Bottom near the river. Trout fishing is available. The main Elwha
River Trail continues south crossing the interior of the park. One half
mile south of Krause Bottom is Humes Ranch, an old homesteading cabin, where you can
loop up to main Elwha Trail. Turning
north will take you to Goblins Gate. (moderate difficulty)
Madison Falls Trail
meadow and forest grove, then follows Madison Creek through a cleft in
the mountainside to splendid falls that cascade a hundred feet down basalt
cliffs. The trail wanders through a century of pioneer history, commencing
near Smith's timber claim and Sweet's Cedarvale Resort, ending at Matteson's
mining claim by the falls. 0.1 mile one way. (easy)
Moments in Time Nature Trail
approximately a 1/2 mile loop trail and offers nice views of the lake and
winds through old-growth forest and former homestead sites. It is located
between Olympic Park Institute and Lake Crescent Lodge. A 1/3 mile trail
extends from Storm King Ranger Station parking lot.
is a spectacular
90' waterfall just one mile from Lake Crescent. The trail leads through
old growth forest with flowering plants and mushrooms in season. (Wheelchair:
first 3/4 mile to Barnes Creek overlook only. Flat, loose graveled surface).
Mount Storm King Trail
for 1.7 miles from the Marymere Falls trail to a point on the ridge. Travel
beyond that point to the top is over difficult terrain and the trail is
not maintained. Good views of Lake Crescent.
Pyramid Peak Trail
begins on the
north shore of the lake and climbs 2600' in 3.5 miles. At the summit is
a World War II aircraft spotter station. Good views of Lake Crescent and
the Strait of Juan de Fuca enroute.
Spruce Railroad Trail
North Shore and Lyre River trailheads. Much of this relatively flat 4 miles
(each way) trail runs on or adjacent to the World War I Spruce Railway
bed and offers excellent Lake Crescent views. It is a designated bike trail.
Watch for ticks and poison oak.
Sol Duc Falls
is 0.8 miles from
the end of the Sol Duc River Road through dense forest. Sol Duc Falls/Lover's
Lane loop (via campground) is six miles. The
is rough and rocky.
Mink Lake Trail
begins at the Sol
Duc Resort and climbs 1400' in 2.5 miles through dense forest to the lake.
Ancient Groves Nature Trail
one-half mile loop through an old-growth forest and connects two roadside
turnouts. For your safety, return along the loop trail rather than the
- La Push
Two trails to the coast begin at the end
of the Lake Ozette road. The
Cape Alava Trail
, the northern trail,
is 3.3 miles. The southern trail, the
Sand Point Trail
is 3.0 miles
to the beach. Both are nearly continuous wooded boardwalk. Current tide
chart and weather is posted at the trailhead. A three mile walk on the
beach makes a 9.3 mile loop. Along the coast you will see marine life,
Ozette Island, and Cape Alava, the western most point in the contiguous
Third Beach Trail
begins at the
LaPush road, twelve miles west of U.S. 101. A sandy beach is 1.4 miles
from the trailhead.
Second Beach Trail
begins on the
LaPush road, fourteen miles west of U.S. 101. The trail goes .8 mile to
a sandy beach with tidepools and views of sea stacks.
Rialto Beach Trail
is .1 mile (paved)
from the parking lot to a view of the beach, James Island, and Cake Rock.
Beach walk 1.5 miles to Hole-in-the-wall.
Hall of Mosses Trail
is .75 mile
round trip, beginning at the Visitor Center at the end of the Hoh road.
Nearby is the
Spruce Nature Trail
1.25 miles round trip. Short uneven grades on both trails.
Both are excellent examples of rain forests
with dense lush vegetation. Elk and deer are sometimes seen in the area.
There is also a paved .25 mile
Short beach trails lead from U.S. 101
to sections of beach.
is the northern most trail with
six other trails to the south. Each beach is distinct. Some offer tidepools
and others clamming (in season and with license).
accessible for wheelchair travel.
Sams River Loop Trail
miles in length and can be started at the Queets Ranger Station or the
trailhead one mile east of the station. The trail passes both the Queets
and Sams Rivers as well as through former homestead meadows. Elk are often
seen early morning or late evening in the meadows.
accessible for wheelchair travel--may require