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gem icon Quinault Rainforest [Suggest Edits]

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Description

The Quinault Rainforest is one of the more rugged sections of the park, especially in comparison with the popular Hoh Rainforest. The Quinault represents a "middle child" of Olympic's three rainforests and offers visitors the best of both worlds.

It is possible to access the rainforest from the road although you won't be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the area until you hit the trails. With 13 miles of trail, the area has a broad range of difficulty of travel, with just as many family friendly trails accessible from the road as longer distance backpacking routes. Whether you have a few hours or a few days, the Quinault has a trail for you.

A bit of solitude is one of the highlights of this region, and you'll have left RV's, tour busses, and the majority of other Olympic visitors at the Hoh Rainforest. Instead, keep an eye out for the full-time residents of the area such as elk and bear.

The extra effort necessary to access the Quinault Rainforest is well worth it, and visitors will leave feeling refreshed by this wild area.

Difficulty: On the Road

Family Friendly: Many shorter, easily navigated trails make seeing and experiencing the rainforest easy for the whole family.

Gem Type: Other

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Check-Ins

Aug 21, 2018
Ann J
Jul 6, 2018
Eugene K
Jun 13, 2017
Rita O.
Jan 24, 2017
Jerry Cheek
Diane broke her arm in May 2016 near here. beautiful waterfalls and first hikes.

Nearby Trails

3.6 mi 5.8 km Quinault Loop National Recreation Trail #854
Intermediate
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Update
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93 days ago
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6.4 mi 10.2 km Colonel Bob Trail #851
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15.8 mi 25.4 km North Fork Quinault River Trail
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Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud - We day hiked Three Lakes from Irely trailhead setting out around 1pm, returning to the car around 8:45pm. We took our time, took pictures, spoke to others on the trail, stopped for water fills and spent nearly an hour doing timber research and shouting a bear a bit further away to continue down the trail without any encounters. By "All Clear" I meant we and obviously many before us were able to climb over or bypass 8 or 10 logs across the trail. There were some standing water 'stream' crossings early on in the flat first mile or two which were fine. If a water view is expected, maybe bypass Irely Lake. Although still quite a sight, it was dry in early September 2020. There are multiple water fill trickles between miles 2 and 4. Around mile 2.5 we heard and felt the ground shake as a large dead log thundered down one switchback ahead. We were treated with a wasp sting around mile 4.5. We encountered a large bear happily crunching around and feeding on berries in the last half mile before Three Lakes. Some maps show the Largest AK Yellow Cedar way off the trail- it and the sign pointing to it are a few steps above the Big Creek campsite and the sign saying 'No Fires Beyond This Point'. Three Lakes are shallow with brownish-clear water suitable for filtering, a coin toss for drinking straight. This is one of the eight largest old growth Alaska Yellow Cedar groves listed by the USFS. Please respect it(as you should everywhere).
77 days ago
6.8 mi 10.9 km Big Creek Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
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Intermediate/Difficult
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Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud - We day hiked Three Lakes from Irely trailhead setting out around 1pm, returning to the car around 8:45pm. We took our time, took pictures, spoke to others on the trail, stopped for water fills and spent nearly an hour doing timber research and shouting a bear a bit further away to continue down the trail without any encounters. By "All Clear" I meant we and obviously many before us were able to climb over or bypass 8 or 10 logs across the trail. There were some standing water 'stream' crossings early on in the flat first mile or two which were fine. If a water view is expected, maybe bypass Irely Lake. Although still quite a sight, it was dry in early September 2020. There are multiple water fill trickles between miles 2 and 4. Around mile 2.5 we heard and felt the ground shake as a large dead log thundered down one switchback ahead. We were treated with a wasp sting around mile 4.5. We encountered a large bear happily crunching around and feeding on berries in the last half mile before Three Lakes. Some maps show the Largest AK Yellow Cedar way off the trail- it and the sign pointing to it are a few steps above the Big Creek campsite and the sign saying 'No Fires Beyond This Point'. Three Lakes are shallow with brownish-clear water suitable for filtering, a coin toss for drinking straight. This is one of the eight largest old growth Alaska Yellow Cedar groves listed by the USFS. Please respect it(as you should everywhere).
77 days ago
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0.6 mi 0.9 km Quinault Rain Forest Trail #855
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Update
Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Apr 7, 2016. All Page Views: 820. Last Month: 7.