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North Fork Quinault River Trail

Intermediate

Trail

15.8 mile 25.4 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 3,848' 1,173 m
Descent: -796' -243 m
High: 3,548' 1,081 m
Low: 497' 151 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Doug Scott

Historic and beautiful, this trail weaves along a pristine rainforest wilderness towards Low Divide.

Doug Scott

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife

The trail is accessible most of the year to Elip Creek, but fording the creek may not be possible during rainy months.

Description

The North Fork of the Quinault River is where you go if you want to re-create one of the first traverse trails of Olympic National Park. Following the route of the 1889-90 Press Expedition, the trail along the North Fork is one that grows more wild with each and every step. Working upstream, the trail is easy to follow and scenic. Numerous backcountry campsites exist along the path, making it a good backpacking trip for nearly all level of backpacker.

The first few miles to Elip Creek are extremely easy to follow and have frequent black bear sightings in the spring and fall months. At Elip Creek, you'll probably have to ford the creek, which can be extremely difficult in the spring and early summer months, or after heavy rain. Past the bridge, the trail gains more elevation, and the forests become even more impressive.

Views of mountains aren't very common along the trail. However, the North Fork of the Quinault River continues to grow more gorgeous each passing mile. Crossing numerous creeks and bridges, the trail becomes more remote and feels wild. Views are limited to ancient rainforest old growth and huge ferns until to you make the ascent up to Low Divide.

Flora & Fauna

Old growth firs and cedars home to elk, deer, black bear and more.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

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Check-Ins

Oct 9, 2018
Kristen Papas
Aug 10, 2018
Bill Rinehart
Aug 9, 2017
Phillip Miller
Great trail, gorgeous. We were going to do the loop, but turned back before the steep terrain due to the heat that day. 31mi
Jul 3, 2017
Quentin VINCENT

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#6956

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#334

in Washington

#6,956

Overall
17 Views Last Month
2,767 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate

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33%
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Photos

Summer on the North Fork Quinault Trail.
Jan 31, 2016 near Seabeck, WA
One of the many impressive creek crossings along the North Fork of the Quinault Trail.
Jan 31, 2016 near Port An…, WA
Elip Creek in the summer.
Jan 31, 2016 near Seabeck, WA

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