The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center
The visitor center and restrooms are accessible. The visitor center offers information, a bookstore and exhibits about the temperate rain forest. There is a wheelchair available for checkout when the visitor center is open and staffed. The visitor center is typically closed in January and February. Call the Hoh Visitor Center at 360-374-6925 for more information and for current hours.
Hoh Picnic Area
Accessible restrooms and one accessible site with table extensions.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
Enjoy mountain vistas from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, featuring high-country exhibits and an audio-described, captioned orientation movie. Hearing assistive technology and a wheelchair are available for check out at the front desk, when staffed.
Picnic Area Options
An accessible ramp and elevator lead to a terrace with picnic tables, accessible restrooms, gift shop and snack bar. Picnic areas A and B, located about one mile beyond the visitor center, have paved trails leading to picnic tables overlooking the mountains. Restrooms at picnic areas are not accessible.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
This visitor center includes accessible parking and exhibits on the park's natural and cultural history. Tactile exhibits and displays with sound effects are featured, as well as an audio-described, captioned orientation movie. Hearing assistive technology is available at the front desk. The visitor center also offers accessible parking and accessible restrooms.
Staircase Ranger Station
The ranger station has a wheelchair available for visitor use. There is an accessible vault toilet nearby.
Madison Falls Trail
This 0.1-mile, accessible, paved, gently sloping trail leads to a 60-foot waterfall. There is an accessible vault toilet near the gravel parking lot.
Hoh Rain Forest Area
Hall of Mosses Trail
Length: 5,515 feet, 1.04 miles; Loop: 4,535 feet, .86 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: Between 3 and 6 feet Typical Running Slope: First 400 feet: under 5%; remainder fluctuating uphill and downhill with numerous steep grades, typically less than 50 feet in length, ranging from 7-25%, interspersed with gentle stretches Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2% Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from park information boards
Description: The Hoh parking area has five van-accessible parking spaces. Head towards the information boards that are visible from the accessible parking spaces. A trail intersection, 310 feet from the boards, leads to a sign indicating where the Hall of Mosses trail starts. At this intersection, follow to the left for another 450 feet and then turn right at the next trail intersection. The next 10 feet of trail cover a 5-10%-grade increase to the 30-foot bridge over Taft Creek. There is an 8-inch step off the far end of the bridge onto sloping ground for 10 more feet.
At 650 feet, the trail narrows to 4 feet wide and climbs at a steep 9-14% grade. There is an exterior handrail along the trail starting at 650 feet and ending at 900 feet. The trail turns to the left and continues uphill at steeper grades from 17-22% for 70 feet, before reaching the start of a loop that circles through a forest of bigleaf maple trees. Turn left at the intersection and continue uphill. From 970 feet to 1,020 feet is the steepest part of the trail at 24% for 30 feet, followed by 20 feet at 12%.
From 1,020 to 1,050 feet, the trail goes downhill at a 15% grade, followed by another 40 feet downhill at 9%. Following a small step down at 1,110 feet, the grade drops to under 5% for the next 700 feet. At 1,805 feet there is a 200-foot spur trail to the left. The spur, under 5% grade, is fenced on either side and ends at a fenced area with views of a group of moss-covered bigleaf maples. Continuing back along the main trail from the spur, the trail remains under 5% grade to 2,210 feet. Those seeking the least-strenuous version of this hike may wish to go back along the same route at this point, as the east side of loop is more rugged than the portion already traveled. The trail begins to climb uphill at 10-14% grade from 2,210 feet to 2,990 feet. From 2,990 feet to 2,390 feet, the trail continues uphill, fluctuating from 7-14% before reaching a 30-foot stretch dense with large roots. There is a brief, level spot at 2,440 feet before a 16% uphill increase that includes 6 steps interspersed with roots and rocks.
The trail remains rocky and begins sloping back downhill at 9-12%, interspersed with a few gentler areas to 2,645 feet. From 2,645 to 2,735 feet the grade sharply increases to 20%, then reduces to 8% from 2,735 to 2,810 feet. Continue down 7 stairs at a 10% grade to 2,850 feet. This concludes the most difficult section of the east side of the loop. There are many amazing sights along the remainder of the loop, including examples of mature trees grown from nurse logs and fallen giants on the trail side. The trail tread again becomes wide, smooth and under 5% grade from 2,850 feet to 3,355 feet. At 3,355 feet there is a 30-foot downhill at 15-20% with numerous roots and rocks. From 3,385 to 3,900 feet, grades remain under 5% until reaching five stairs climbing a 15% grade increase for 45 feet. From 3,945 feet the trail is again smooth and level until a 25-foot uphill increase of 10-12% at 4,380 feet. The final gentle stretch extends from 4,405 feet to 4,500 feet. At 4,500 feet, continue down a steep hill at 20-25% grade to reach the beginning of the loop. Retrace the initial approach to return to the parking area at 5,515 feet.
Mini Rain Forest Trail
Length: 800 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 4-6 feet Typical Running Slope: Under 5% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 15 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from park information boards Description: The Hoh parking area has five van-accessible parking spaces. From the parking area, cross the crosswalk and turn right to reach the trailhead where several boards display information about the area. From the park information boards, proceed forward for 310 feet and then follow to the left at the intersection. Trailside benches can be found at 200 feet on the left and at 360 feet on the right. Continue to the next intersection at 450 feet and turn left again. At 475 feet, cross an 8-foot long bridge. Continue forward for 70 feet to a second bridge that is 25-feet long with a 2-inch drop when going off the other end. At 605 feet, there is a tree root across most of the trail, 1-2 inches high. Continue forward to reach the visitor center at 660 feet. To complete the loop, follow the sidewalk around the visitor center towards the parking area.
Spruce Nature Trail
Length: 6,645 feet, 1.25 miles; Loop: 6,040 feet, 1.14 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: First 350 feet: 6 feet; 350-720: 3 feet; 720-6,040 feet: 2-3 feet Typical Running Slope: First 400 feet: under 5%; remainder fluctuating uphill and downhill with numerous steep grades typically less than 50 feet in length ranging from 7-25%, interspersed with gentle stretches Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2% Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 65 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from park information boards Description: The Hoh parking area has five van-accessible parking spaces. From the parking area, cross the crosswalk and turn right to reach the trailhead where several boards display information about the area. From the information boards, proceed forward for 310 feet to an intersection. There is a bench on the left at 200 feet. At the intersection, go to the right. At 350 feet cross the 30-foot bridge. The trail narrows from 6 feet to 3 feet after the bridge. From 400 to 455 feet, the trail climbs at 14-17% grade to another intersection. The Hoh River Trail is to the left. Proceed to the right for the Spruce Nature Trail. Continue downhill for 50 feet at 8-11% grade, followed by 30 feet of uphill at 6-8% to reach the start of the loop trail. Turn left and continue uphill at 14-17% grade incline. At 640 feet, there is a staircase with nine stairs. The steps are 4-6 inches high with long treads between, sloping upward at 8-11%. At the top of the staircase, continue uphill at a maximum grade of 10% for 750 feet, completing the longest continuous climb of the trail. After this point, the trail is a series of ups and downs with more level sections in between, before meeting back at the beginning intersection to complete the loop.
Hurricane Ridge Area
Hurricane Hill Trail
Length: 8,600 feet, 1.63 miles Surface Type: Asphalt pavement Typical Trail Width: 8 Feet Typical Running Slope: First 2,700 feet under 5% with one 150 foot stretch from 7-9%. From 2,700-8,550 feet very steep with many sections 15-20%. Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% Elevation Gain/ Loss: First 2,700 feet: net gain 10 feet, maximum gain/ loss 20 feet. Entire Trail: 645 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from the trailhead Description: The Hurricane Hill trailhead is at the end of the Hurricane Hill Road, 2 miles past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The trail starts at the northwest corner of the parking area and contours to the south side of the hill offering spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains. At the top, there are also views to the north of Griff Peak, Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Initially the trail goes downhill for 400 feet at a gentle grade under 6%. From 400 to 750 feet, the trail proceeds uphill. This stretch is at 7% with a steeper 150-foot stretch in the middle at 8-9%. The trail levels out at the top and is under 2% grade for the next 650 feet. At 1,400 feet, the trail heads downhill around a curve at less than 5% grade for the next 300 feet. The trail is on a steeply-cut bank through this section with exposure to a considerable drop on the outside edge. Those affected by heights may wish to remain on the inside edge of the trail.
The trail continues through gradual ups and downs under 5% until 2,450 feet. From 2,450 to 2,700 feet the trail again goes downhill at about 6%. This is a good location to consider turning back. It is a strenuous hike past this point. From 2,700 to 3,700 feet, the trail is extremely steep with grades ranging from 10 to 18%. The trail continues uphill to its terminus at the top of Hurricane Hill, alternating between moderately steep and extremely steep grades as follows:
From 3,700 to 3,900 feet, grades range from 4-6%
From 3,900 to 4,300 feet, grades range from 8-11%
From 4,300 to 5,700 feet, grades range less than 8%
From 5,700 to 8,200 feet, grades range from 10-18%
Big Meadow and Cirque Rim Trails
Length: Center of parking to overlook: 400 feet. Cirque Rim Trail (overlook to east end of Big Meadow Trail): 1,670 feet. Big Meadow Trail: 900 feet Surface Type: Asphalt pavement Typical Trail Width: Center access and Big Meadow 8-foot width. Cirque Rim Trail 4-foot width Typical Running Slope: Center of parking to overlook: 12-13% for 190 feet reducing to 6-7%. Cirque Rim Trail: 12-20%. Big Meadow Trail: Less than 5%, except for 9% for last 100 feet to east intersection Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 50 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from the trailhead Description: There are three trail access points on the north side of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center parking area. The trail with the least grade and the widest tread begins from the center of the parking area. The trail is steep for the first 190 feet with the grade tapering off for the remaining 210 feet to an overlook with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands on a clear day.
Starting shortly before the overlook, the Big Meadow Trail runs east for 900 feet across the meadow to an intersection with the Cirque Rim Trail and the High Ridge Trail. The Big Meadow Trail grade remains under 5% for 800 feet and then increases to 9% downhill where it reaches the intersection of the Cirque Rim Trail and the High Ridge Trail. For the least strenuous option, consider turning around at the Growing Gradually interpretive exhibit and returning to the parking lot or overlook via the same route.
The Cirque Rim Trail departs to the east from the overlook. The 4-foot-wide path follows the rolling contour of the northern slope at grades of 12-20% for 1,670 feet before meeting up with the intersection of the east end of the Big Meadow Trail and part of the High Ridge Trail. From here, the trail continues down a hill for 140 feet to reach the east end of the parking lot. To return to the center of the parking area via the Big Meadow Trail, follow the trail as it climbs a gradual 9% grade for 100 feet and then levels out to less than a 5% grade over the remaining 800 feet of trail leading downhill to the parking area.
Length: 765 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: Under 5% through forest, max 16% on descent to beach. Typical Cross Slope: Under 3% Elevation Gain/ Loss: 60 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from the trailhead Description: There are parking pullouts on both the east and west side of the highway for Beach 1. If parking on the east side of the highway, exercise extreme caution when crossing the highway, as the speed limit is 55 mph and there is no crosswalk. The trail starts at the edge of the west-side pullout and proceeds into the forest. The Spruce Burl Trail starts at 115 feet, looping through the forest and tying back in with the Beach 1 Trail at 280 feet. The first 365 feet of the Beach 1 Trail runs through the forest at gentle grades under 5%. The initial portion of the descent to the beach consists of 53 stairs with deep treads, interspersed with cross drains. At 535 feet, the stairs end and the trail continues downhill at grades up to 16%. A wooden footbridge at the bottom of the hill leads down to 5 more stairs. The trail is cut into a bank for the final approach to the beach. The surface is rocky and fluctuates gently up and down to 715 feet. The trails continues over a cut in a beach log and proceed fifty feet further to a large accumulation of beach logs at 765 feet. Navigate through the logs to reach the beach.
Spruce Burl Trail
Length: 960 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: Under 5% Typical Cross Slope: Under 3% Description: As the name suggests, the Spruce Burl Trail navigates through a forest of spruce trees with large burls. It is a loop trail that starts and ends on the Beach 1 Trail. There are parking pullouts on both the east and west side of the highway for Beach 1. If parking on the east side of the highway, exercise extreme caution when crossing the highway, as the speed limit is 55 mph and there is no crosswalk.
The trail starts at the edge of the west-side pullout and proceeds into the forest. All grades on this hike are under 5%. Proceed up the Beach 1 Trail for 115 feet. There is a sign for the Spruce Burl Trail at the intersection. Turn right to follow the trail. At 445 feet, there is a short, narrow bridge. On the ocean (west) side of the loop, grasses and berry vines often grow densely along the trail. There are also numerous roots crossing the trail, some on the west side 8-10 inches. At 565 feet, the trail meets the Beach 1 Trail. Turn left to return to the parking area. It is 165 feet back to the first intersection, and another 115 feet from there to the parking area.
Length: 385 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: 19% from road into forest, under 5% through forest, 15-22% descent to beach Typical Cross Slope: Under 3% Elevation Gain/Loss: 60 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from the trailhead Description: The trail starts on the north side of a one-car pullout on the west side of the highway. There is a larger pullout on the east side of the highway. If parking on the east side, exercise extreme caution when crossing the highway, as the speed limit is 55 mph and there is no crosswalk. From the road, the trail climbs at a steep 19% up into the forest for the first 30 feet, the grade then decreases to under 5% while crossing through the forest to the edge of the bluff. The descent to the beach starts at 215 feet with a 15-22% downhill grade with roots crossing the trail periodically. At 295 feet there is an intersection.
Continuing to the left, it is another 90 feet to the beach. The trail to the right is slightly shorter, at 75 feet, but is rocky and dense with exposed roots. Upon reaching the beach, navigate through the beach logs. The beach has three distinct levels, the first being rocky with a 4-6-foot slope down to a second rocky terrace followed by another 4-6-foot slope down to a sandy beach.
Length: 700 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: All downhill to beach level with grades from 7-30% interspersed with stairs Typical Cross Slope: Under 3% Elevation Gain/Loss: 60 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking immediately across from the trailhead Description: The trail starts at the south end of the roadside pullout signed for Beach 3. The 2-foot-wide, compacted gravel path starts downhill almost immediately, running at steep grades of 12-30% for the first 240 feet. After 3 stairs, the steepness continues at similar grades to 464 feet before reaching a longer staircase with 20 stairs. Beyond the second staircase, the trail is not as steep but still ranges in grade from 7-12% until 575 feet. There are two cross drains in this stretch.
At 575 feet, the trail reaches a 35-step staircase with a landing after the 11th step. From the bottom of this staircase at 650 feet, the trail narrows slightly, and it is 50 feet farther to the beach. A couple of large roots cross the trail in the final stretch. Expect that some navigation through beach logs will be necessary to reach the water.
Length: 220 feet to overlook, 815 feet to beach Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: To overlook 5 feet, to beach 5 feet wide changing to 3 feet wide at 215 feet Typical Cross Slope: To overlook under 1%, to beach heavily crowned (higher in the middle than on the edges) Accessible Parking: Two standard and three van-accessible parking spaces Description: From the Kalaloch parking area, a ramp leads to the sidewalk with access to two nearby toilets, a park information board and the trailhead. To reach the overlook, head west from the trailhead for fifty feet to an intersection. Continue forward for 170 feet to reach the overlook. From the intersection, the trail slopes downhill at 7% with a few brief stretches 9-10% before reaching the overlook. The view at sitting height may be obstructed by vegetation at times.
To reach the beach, turn left at the intersection. The trail remains at 5-feet wide for another 165 feet but crosses a 20-foot heavily-crowned section with a severe drop-off on the right-hand side at 110 feet. At 215 feet, the trail narrows to 3 feet and descends 113 stairs with 12-inch-deep treads to 510 feet. There is a bench on the right at the 24th step. There are three cross drains in this set of stairs.
At the bottom of the staircase, the trail continues downhill obstacle free at 9% grade, dropping to under 5% grade before the start of another staircase at 585 feet. The second staircase consists of 29 stairs with tread 3-4 feet deep. The stairs end at a bridge that crosses over to the bedrock above the beach. To reach the beach, it is a Class 3 scramble (use of hands may be required by some to navigate down the rock to the beach) down the beach where one can enjoy views of rock outcroppings and Deception Island.
Big Cedar Trail
Length: 1,665 feet, .32 miles, from parking out to “lollipop,” or loop, ending and back Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 5-6 feet narrowing to 3 feet at “lollipop” ending Typical Running Slope: Under 5% with brief 6.5% stretch in the middle and 100 feet at 6% on the northern section of the loop ending Typical Cross Slope: Mostly under 1%, though sections have a significant crown (higher in the middle than on the edges) Description: A storm in 2014 felled half of the Big Cedar tree, but what remains is still an impressive sight, as is the fallen half on the ground. The trailhead is at the end of a .2-mile gravel road. The parking area is gravel with no defined parking spaces. The Big Cedar itself is just 110 feet from the trailhead. The trail circles the tree to the left and continues east into the lush coastal forest. Please resist the urge to climb on this ancient giant. The trail is wide and stable, but the edges slope off steeply where the trail goes around the tree.
After the tree split in 2014, a trail was constructed that continues 690 feet into the forest and has a loop, or lollipop, ending that runs adjacent to another impressive cedar. The “lollipop” ending narrows to 3-foot width, is crowned, and has steep slopes on both sides where substantial gravel fill was added to even the grade. The trail is typically under 5% grade, with one brief section at 6.5% grade in the center. The lollipop portion of the trail narrows to 3 feet and the gravel slopes off steeply on either side. Wheelchair users should exercise caution if navigating the loop. The loop is 285 feet in circumference. The north side has a 6% grade for 105 feet. Upon completing the loop, return on the same trail to the parking area.
Length: Viewing area adjacent to parking area; beach access 735 feet Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 4-5 feet Typical Running Slope: Numerous drain dips that create steep cross slopes Typical Cross Slope: Mostly under 1%, though sections have a significant crown (higher in the middle than on the edges) Description: Ruby Beach is the northernmost beach access point in the Kalaloch Area. All of the beach access trails at Kalaloch descend from the top of the bluff to the beach. They are generally steep and constructed to weather the 8.5 feet of annual rainfall. Winter ocean swells typically rearrange the beach logs at each location, so conditions at the point where the trail reaches the beach are constantly subject to change.
The Ruby Beach parking area is a sloped gravel lot with two vault toilets in the center. There is an accessible viewing area overlooking the ocean on the north end of the parking area, with a lower section of rail for wheelchair users on the left-hand side. Vegetation may obscure the view at sitting height.
The Ruby Beach trail is the only beach access wide enough for a wheelchair to reach the beach. Be advised that the trail is steep, has multiple drain dips and there is a drain across the trail at the halfway point that is 3-6 inches deep. The trail starts on the west side of the overlook and runs approximately 300 feet downhill at 10-20% to the first switchback, which is wide and has a trailside bench. There are 3 drain dips in the top of this section placed 50 feet apart. Continuing downhill at grades of 8-16%, there is an angled drain dip 50 feet below the switchback that forms steep cross slopes, and a wood cross drain at 365 feet that creates a 12-inch wide, 3-6-inch drop. The grade remains steep at 7-16% until 510 feet, where it drops below 5% for the remainder of the trail. There is a spur access to the beach at 575 feet. At 675 feet, the trail narrows to 3 feet before ending at the beach at 735 feet.
Lake Crescent Area
Marymere Falls Trail
The first half-mile of this trail is a hard-packed surface trail with uneven terrain. The trail begins at Storm King Ranger Station and winds its way through old-growth forest as it leads to an overlook of Barnes Creek.
Moments in Time Nature Trail
A 0.8-mile loop trail with hard-packed surface and some uneven surfaces from tree roots and other obstacles. This trail offers views of the lake, old-growth forest and former homestead sites. It can be reached from the NatureBridge campus, Lake Crescent Lodge or the Storm King Ranger Station via a 0.3-mile trail.
Spruce Railroad Trail
The Spruce Railroad Trail is a paved section of the Olympic Discovery Trail. It borders the north side of the lake, amid dense forest and undergrowth. There are two trailheads, one at the end of East Beach Road and one off of Camp David Junior Road. An accessible vault toilet is located at the end of the road past Fairholme Campground.
Port Angeles Area
The Living Forest Trail
Length: .32 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 3-4 feet Typical Running Slope: 6% or less, with sections less than 20 feet up to 12% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% Elevation Gain/ Loss: 72 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking in parking area. Description: This trail begins immediately behind the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles. There is a wheelchair available to check out at the visitor center. The first 420 feet of the trail consists of 3 switchbacks that are at a gentle grade but contain a few slightly steeper sections where trees pinch the trail (trail width is at least 3 feet at each location).
Beyond the switchback section, trail branches to the left and right to create the main loop of the trail. Either direction continues uphill. Travelling to the left provides a gradual grade through open forest. To the right, the forest is denser with a few sections that are steep (up to 12%) for 10-20 feet where the trail goes next to or between trees. At 1,260 feet when travelling to the right, or at 220 feet when traveling to the left, a 240-foot spur trail leads to an exposed root wad of a fallen tree before returning to the main loop.
July Creek Trail
Length: 1,020 feet, .19 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 3-5 feet Typical Running Slope: Steep entry and exit from picnic area with grades up to 13%; grades below 7% in picnic area; level return to parking area on reaching road Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% (some sections of trail heavily crowned) Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking in parking area Description: Formerly a campground, the July Creek Picnic Area contains outstanding examples of large Douglas-fir trees, 6 feet in diameter and larger. There is a handicap parking space directly in front of the trail. The loop trail leaves from the center of the parking area, with a 2-inch lip at the curb ramp. There is a 25-foot uphill slope at 10% grade before the trail starts downhill to the picnic area. The first 40 feet of the descent are steep, with 10-13% grade. The descent becomes gradually gentler for the next 120 feet before reaching the picnic area. There are two picnic sites to the right at the bottom of the hill. The trail continues to the left at a very gentle grade, and at 225 feet a bridge crosses over July Creek.
The trail is fairly level for the next 200 feet, then begins to climb back towards North Shore Road. At 420 feet, there is a brief section at 10-12%, then the grade drops under 7% until the last 50 feet up to the road which is again at 10-13%. At 650 feet, the trail meets the road and then runs along the road for 220 feet to return to the parking lot. Once back at the parking lot, follow the sidewalk back to the starting point.
Kestner Homestead Trail
Length: 6,940 feet, 1.3 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width:3-5 feet Typical Running Slope: From Maple Glade start to the homestead, less than 7% (Maximum slope 10%). From kiosk start to the homestead, less than 5% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% (the first bridge has a cross slope of 4% for the last 15 feet) Description: This loop trail may be travelled in either direction: Following the Maple Glade Trail going left at the first junction, and then left again at 1,050 feet when reaching the sign for the Kestner Homestead Trail; or starting at the information kiosk. Starting from the Maple Glade Trail, it is .77 miles to the homestead. After leaving the Maple Glade Trail, the trail rolls up and down through a forest heavy with maple trees, and the tread is generally clear of obstacles. There is a 40-foot bridge at 1,125 feet, followed by 2 slightly steep sections (10 feet at 7% at 1,560 feet and 30 feet at 6-8% at 1,710 feet) before reaching a mossy bench at 1,710 feet. From the bench, there is a gradual hill for 290 feet at up to 7% grade. At 2,080 feet, the trail narrows to 3 feet. There is a 30-foot 8-10% downhill at 3,770 feet followed by a 25-foot bridge at 3,715 feet. The boundary of the Kestner Homestead is at 4,075 feet. From this point back to the kiosk at the parking area the trail is mostly flat.
The first 170 feet of trail through the homestead is clumped with grass followed by a 110-foot section where the trail is all grass. Turning right at the homestead residence, the trail follows the original entrance road past the orchard for 500 feet before crossing a bridge over Kestner Creek. The decking of the bridge is pending replacement and a 2-foot-wide path of expanded metal is in place the length of the bridge to provide secure footing. Continuing around the gate at the end of the bridge, the trail turns right just before reaching the North Shore Road. From here it is 1,840 feet back to the trailhead kiosk at the parking area. There is a short stretch after turning along the road that is 3-feet wide and there is an adjacent ditch. Wheelchair users should exercise caution. There are roots that rise 2” above the trail tread at 5,800 and 6,490 feet.
For those wishing to visit the homestead on a less-strenuous hike, depart from the trailhead kiosk and return the same way. This is a 1.1-mile round trip.
Maple Glade Rain Forest Trail
Length: 2,565 feet, .49 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 3-5 feet Typical Running Slope: Less than 5% (maximum slope 7%) Typical Cross Slope: Less than 1% (the first bridge has a cross slope of 4% for the last 15 feet) Description: The trail starts at the west end of the ranger station parking area immediately beginning with a 60-foot ramp leading to a 50-foot bridge and then down a 30-foot ramp. The second ramp has a 10-foot section with 7% grade that is the steepest part of the trail. The bridge has settled on the west end and has a cross slope of 4% for the last 15 feet. Trail brochures for the Maple Glade Trail and the Kestner Homestead Trail are available at the bottom of the 30-foot ramp. The Maple Glade brochure describes forest elements at 13 marked points along the trail. 200 feet farther down the trail, proceed right at the junction to follow the brochure in numerical order.
The Quinault Rain Forest receives over 12 feet of rain annually. Portions of the trail may be flooded between the months of October and May, but the summer months are typically dry, and so is the trail. The rain contributes to escalated vegetation growth, so each side of the trail typically has low vegetation growth in the gravel surface, but it is still firm. Despite the gentle grade of the trail, the weather conditions make it difficult to maintain in accessible condition, so wheelchair users should proceed with caution.
Continuing from the junction, the trail proceeds for 2,370 feet through a quiet forest of mossy bigleaf maple trees, braided with stream channels, before looping back to the junction. The grade is gentle for the entirety of the loop and crosses numerous short wooden bridges. There are multiple locations along the trail where bridge ends, tree roots, and trail construction features rise 2 inches above the trail tread. At 425 feet, there is a cut through a downed tree with a 4-inch step. At 1,530 feet, continue to the left at the Kestner Homestead Trail junction to complete the loop. There is a trailside bench at 1,685 feet. The roughest stretch of trail is from 2,010 to 2,090 feet where there are two 8-foot sections of numerous crisscrossed exposed tree roots, followed by a 45-foot section where flooded has caused a 10-inch deep, 18-inch wide rut down the middle of the trail. When back at the first junction, go right to return to the parking lot.
Sol Duc Area
Ancient Groves Nature Trail Loop
Length: 3,015 feet, .57 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: Approximately half the trail is alternating ups and downs with steep grades from 9-20%. In between are gentler rolling sections with multiple boardwalks and short bridges Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2% Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 25 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking along parking area Description: The Ancient Groves Nature Trail departs from a roadside pullout approximately 8.8 miles up the Sol Duc Valley Road. Though short in length, the trail has many ups and downs at steep grades. It traverses through a beautiful old-growth forest, and has a brief section along the edge of the bluff overlooking the river.
From the parking area, the trail runs beside the road at a level grade for 100 feet before dropping into the woods to the right. The trail continues for 170 feet of fluctuating steep downhill, with 10-18% grades, to a level boardwalk followed by gentle grades for the next 130 feet. Running along a gentle hill for 50 feet at grades under 7%, the trail meets an intersection and leads to the right towards the river. The next 170 feet is uphill at varying grades from 9-13%. This is followed by a moderate downhill for 265 feet. The trail crosses a short bridge before dropping down a steep 45-foot hill to reach the section above the river.
The trail continues uphill along the river for 220 feet with some steep sections, particularly when climbing back up to turn left away from the river. The next 370 feet are a gentle rolling downhill through the forest. A steep section of trail climbs at 12% before a second bridge crossing at 1,585 feet, approximately half-way along the trail.
From 1,585 feet to 1,840 feet the trail rolls up and down through the forest. At 1,625 feet, there is an intersection with a second access point to the trail that originates from another road pullout past the recommended starting point. Continuing to the left, at 1,840 feet there is a 185 foot stretch of steep downhill with grades ranging from 10 to 20%. Crossing another section of boardwalk, the trail fluctuates grades for 110 feet with brief steep sections up to 20%. From here, 430 feet of rolling downhill trail with some steep sections leads back at the intersection. At the intersection, the trail to the right retraces back to the parking area.
Length: 190 feet to viewing platform Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 6 feet Typical Running Slope: Less than 5% with one 12-foot uphill to the viewing platform 7-11% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2% Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 25 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking along parking area. Description: The primary purpose for this trail is to provide access to a viewing platform that is perched above Salmon Cascades on the Sol Duc River. In late summer/early fall, coho salmon can be seen leaping out of the water as they make their way upriver to spawn. The trailhead is at approximately milepost 7 on the Sol Duc Road. There is a van-accessible parking space immediately in front of the trail, and a picnic table and accessible toilet available to the right down a gravel walkway.
The trail proceeds into the woods at grades under 5%. At 100 feet there is a root in the center of the trail that creates a slight hump, but runs in-line with the trail, and can be easily navigated around. At 140 feet, the trail arrives at an intersection. The viewing platform is 50 feet further to the right from the intersection, including a brief steep climb for 12 feet at 7-11%. Continuing straight from the intersection, the trail narrows to a 2-foot width. The first 35 feet climbs at steep grades up to 15% then levels out, ending at a 2-3 foot drop off near the river.
Big Cedar Trail
Length: 1,100 feet, .2 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 6-8 feet Typical Running Slope: Under 5% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2%, trail is crowned (higher in the middle than on the edges) Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking in parking area Description: From the Staircase parking area, the trailhead is located directly across the bridge over the Skokomish River. From the trailhead sign, the 8-foot-wide compacted gravel trail dips down and back up in the first 140 feet in which 2 sections under 20 feet reach 8% grade. From here, the trail continues at grades under 5%. At 690 feet, there is an intersection with the Big Cedar Trail, turning left to reach the big cedar.
The trail narrows to six feet at the intersection, continuing for 410 feet to reach a fallen western red cedar tree 14 feet in diameter. There is also a smaller, but still impressively large living cedar at the end of the trail.
Four Stream Trail
Length: 1,645 feet, .31 miles Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 6-8 feet Typical Running Slope: Under 5%, except the last 200 feet which has some brief steep sections up to 16% Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2%, trail is crowned (higher in the middle than on the edges) Elevation Gain/Loss: Less than 25 feet Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking along parking area. Description: The accessible portion of the Four Stream Trail runs along the southern bank of the Skokomish River, and ends at a river overlook at 1,645 feet. The trail narrows and continues beyond that point. The Staircase parking area by the ranger station has one accessible parking spot at the west end of the parking lot. Cross the bridge over the Skokomish River. The trailhead sign will be visible from the west end of the bridge. From the trailhead sign, the 8-foot-wide compacted gravel trail dips down and back up in the first 140 feet, in which 2 sections under 20 feet reach 8% grade. From here, the trail continues at grades under 5%. At 690 feet, there is an intersection with the Big Cedar Trail.
Continuing forward to the right, passing a pullout with a view of the river at 910 feet. At this point, the trail narrows to 6 feet. At 930 feet there is a 50-foot stretch at 6 to 8% grade. The trail continues at under 5% grade with another pullout at 1,150 feet before rising to another river overlook. From 1,360 to 1,390 feet the grade varies from 8-10%, increasing to a max of 16% for 25 feet. Beyond this is a gentler section with grades of 7-15% from 1,450 to 1,490 feet. After twenty feet under 6%, there is a final steep section from 7-11% from 1,510 feet to 1,525 feet. The grade is under 5% for the final approach to the overlook which is at 1,645 feet.
Length: 4,410 feet, .84 miles (trailhead at end of bridge to Four Stream Road trailhead) Surface Type: Compacted gravel Typical Trail Width: 2 feet Typical Running Slope: First quarter of trail is rugged with numerous very steep sections 20-40% grade. From 1,050 to 3,940 feet mainly under 6% grade with occasional steep section 12-17%. Final 500 feet starts with an 85-foot section at 30-35% grade and is then mostly under 6% grade with a few 10-foot sections at 15% grade Typical Cross Slope: Less than 2%, trail is crowned (higher in the middle than on the edges) Accessible Parking: Van-accessible parking along parking area Description: From the Staircase parking area, across the bridge over the Skokomish River, the trailhead is identified by a sign on the left-hand side at the far end of the bridge. The next 310 feet of the trail is compacted gravel 3 feet wide. The first 20 feet of this stretch of trail descends from the bridge at a steep 16% grade, decreasing to 8% to 50 feet, and then leveling out to less than 5% grade to 310 feet. The tread then becomes quite rocky to 430 feet, with cross slopes up to 4%.
At 425 feet, there is a steep informal trail down to the river’s edge. At 430 feet, 2 steps lead up to a 2-foot wide, 40-foot-long bridge. The trail width remains at 2 feet for the remainder of the trail. From the end of the bridge to 1,050 feet, the trail follows the contours of the river along a steep slope that has been impacted by several slides. There is a short spur trail to an old mine shaft on the far side of the bridge.
The trail continues to the left, proceeding downhill at grades up to 10% to 500 feet. A water bar runs across the trail at 515 feet before the trail begins uphill to cross the slide area. From 555 feet to 570 feet, there is a rugged stone staircase with 6 steps. The trail continues downhill again at grades up to 18% to a 25-foot level section that is held in place by a large log. Beyond the log, the trail climbs uphill at 10% and then steepens to 20% grades with 2 stone steps in the middle from 675 feet to 695 feet before again going downhill at 14-20% to 765 feet. Going uphill again at 10% from 765 to 790 feet, the trail reaches a second bridge, 25-feet long. Beyond the bridge, the trail runs downhill with sections of exposure to a 15-foot drop on the river side, before dropping steeply through a section of bedrock from 830 to 855 feet.
The next section continues downhill at 20% grade with many roots in the trail from 875 feet to 900 feet. From 900 to 935 feet, the climb increases to 40% grade before becoming more gradual to 985 feet and switching again to downhill at 20% grade to 1,050 feet. From this point on, the trail enters the forest. There continue to be steep sections and periodic roots and rocks in the trail, but they are interspersed with long gentle sections under 6% grade that weave between impressive old-growth cedar trees.
From 1,050 to 1,830 feet, the trail meanders through the woods at grades under 6%. At 1,830 feet, there is a 15-foot downhill at 17% followed by a brief uphill around a large fallen tree. At this point, the trail fluctuates downhill at up to 17% grade to 1,975 feet, followed by gentler downhill under 7% grade to 2,220 feet. From 2,220 to 2,535 feet, alternating gentle ups and downs in the trail under 6% lead to a root-heavy downhill at 14% for 25 feet. Beginning uphill again, gentle grades run to 2,695 feet at 9% before beginning downhill again. The next stretch of trail covers grades under 6% to 3,710 feet, and one 12% from 2,775 to 2,815 feet.
There is an intersection with an unofficial trail to the river at 3,710 feet. This is a good point to turn around, if returning to the Staircase parking area, as the remainder of the trail is a climb up to the Four Stream Road trailhead. If continuing, proceed to the right from the intersection. From 3,940 to 4,025 feet there is a very steep 30-35% climb. The remainder of the hike is uphill at gentle grades, interspersed with a few 10-foot sections at 15%. Arrive at Four Stream Road at 4,410 feet.