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Day Hikes
Staircase Dosewalips Heart O' the Hills Hurricane Ridge , Elwha Lake Crescent Sol Duc Ozette Mora Hoh Rain Forest Kalaloch Queets Quinault
 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.

Before hiking 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
  • Use toilets 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 begins across the bridge from the Staircase Ranger Station. Three miles round trip. 

    Staircase Rapids Loop Trail begins 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)

  • Terrace Loop Trail 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 O' the Hills
  • Heart of the Forest Trail begins at Loop E of the Heart of the Hills campground. Typical lowland forest with dense vegetation. 2 miles one way. 
Hurricane Ridge
  • Hurricane Hill Trail begins at 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 starts at the Lake Mills boat launch parking area. (moderate difficulty). Two miles one way. 

    Griff Creek Trail begins behind 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 wanders through 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) 

Lake Crescent
  • Moments in Time Nature Trail is 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. 

    Marymere Falls 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 climbs steeply 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 connects the 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 Area
  • 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 Lover's Lane section 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. Trout fishing. 

    Ancient Groves Nature Trail is a 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 road. 

Ozette Area
  • 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 United States. 
Mora - La Push
  • 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. 

Hoh Rain Forest
  • 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 mini trail

  • Short beach trails lead from U.S. 101 to sections of beach. Ruby 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). 
  • The Sams River Loop Trail is three 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. 
  • Maple Glade Rain Forest Trail is a 1/2 mile loop nature trail that takes about thirty minutes to stroll. Across the bridge from the Quinault Ranger Station. 

    Graves Creek Nature Trail begins at Graves Creek campground and is a one mile loop trail through the temperate rain forest. 

 Trail  accessible for wheelchair travel.
 Trail accessible for wheelchair travel--may require  assistance.