While many will prefer to follow the North Fork Quinault River Trail
up to Low Divide, the hearty and rugged hikers will enjoy the trek up to the Skyline Trail junction. Passing Numerous lakes and ponds, and the world's largest Alaskan Cedar, this trail is scenic and steep, a perfect blend of everything that makes the Olympic National Park trails so awesome.
The trail starts out gentle in a pretty forest before diving right into the immense wilderness of Olympic. Within a mile, you reach Irely Lake. The lake isn't stunning like many others in the park, but does have numerous sightings of osprey, woodpeckers, and eagles. The trail is also frequented by black bears, so make plenty of noise while on the ascent.
Past the lake, the trail starts to climb through the forest, gaining 1,000 feet before finally crossing Big Creek. The bridge is pretty, and shows off the power of the torrential rains that make this region so green and lush. From here, the trail climbs and climbs, giving off glimpses of the surrounding mountains before spitting itself out at the aptly named Three Lakes. Here, the trail joins the Skyline Trail, which leads to even more amazing views of the wilderness of Olympic National Park.
Huge trees, including some record breakers like the world's largest Alaskan Cedar line this trail. Watch for black bear and deer, as well as hawks, osprey and eagles.