Skyline Ridge Primitive Trail



  • Permits for this area must be obtained at the South Shore Lake Quinault Ranger Station or Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles.
  • All food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in bear canisters on the Skyline Trail due to lack of good trees for hanging food.


Ecosystem Type: Montane forest, subalpine forest, subalpine meadow
Trail Tread Types: Primitive
General Elevation Trend: Steep
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Distance: 20.1 miles from Three Lakes to Low Divide
Elevation Change: 3,350 feet to 5,400 feet. Trailhead is at 500 feet.
Best Season: Late July through October
Connecting Trails: North Fork Quinault River Trail, Elip Creek Trail, Big Creek Trail, Three Lakes Trail, Irely Lake Trail
Stock: Closed to stock



Permits/Reservations: Obtain permits at the WIC in Port Angeles or at the South Shore Lake Quinault Ranger Station located next to Lake Quinault Lodge. No reservations necessary.
Food Storage Method: Bear canisters are required due to lack of good trees for hanging food.
Campsites: Three Lakes, Three Prune, Lake Beauty. Always camp on bare ground, not on vegetation.
Toilet Facilities: Pit toilets are available at Three Lakes and Low Divide. In other areas, bury waste 6-8" deep and 200 feet from water sources and campsites. Please pack out toilet paper.
Water Source: A few streams, lakes and ponds. Water is scarce along some sections. Always boil, filter, or chemically treat your drinking water to prevent Giardia.
Stock: Prohibited. See Stock Use.


Special Concerns

Leave No Trace: Leave No Trace of your stay to protect vegetation and prevent further camping regulations. Camp on bare ground only.
Campfires: To protect sensitive vegetation, campfires are prohibited on the Skyline Trail.
Respect Wildlife: To protect bears and other wildlife, all food, garbage and scented items must be secured from all wildlife 24 hours a day. Because of the lack of suitable trees for hanging food, bear canisters should be used for all food storage.



  • The Skyline Trail is usually snow-covered through late July or early August. Expert map and compass skills as well as ice axe and self-arrest skills are necessary when the trail is snow-covered.
  • Carry plenty of water as water sources are scarce along sections of this trail.
  • During fall, winter, and spring months, winter weather can occur even at lower elevations. Be prepared for trees across the trail, snow, hazardous stream crossings, trail and road washouts and cool, very wet weather.
  • Trees can also fall across the North Fork Road. Don't get trapped!
View from Skyline Trail
View from Skyline Trail
Queets River Valley from Skyline Trail
Queets River Valley from Skyline Trail

Last updated: August 4, 2018

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Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


(360) 565-3130

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