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West Fork Dosewallips River Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (2)

The perfect backpacking trail to traverse Olympic National Park.


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Map Key

10.0

Miles

16.2

KM

Point to Point

4,478' 1,365 m

High

1,769' 539 m

Low

3,049' 929 m

Up

1,640' 500 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Winter traversing of this trail will be extremely difficult for advanced backpackers.

Description

With a few stunning river views, incredible forests, and side trips to glaciers and a bear-filled, Enchanted Valley, the West Fork Dosewallips Trail is considered one of the classic backpacking destinations in Olympic National Park. For 10 miles, the trail climbs up and up, leading to a spur in the trail where backpackers have a chance to visit Anderson Glacier. Anderson Glacier, just a short jaunt from Anderson Pass, is quickly vanishing and will be gone in a matter of decades, making this destination a priority. This is the objective for many first-time backpackers and is an amazing gateway to the wilderness of Olympic National Park.

This trail is a bit misleading, as the river isn't visible for much of the way. However, the sounds of the river can be heard gurgling though the trees and meadows along this path. During the late spring and early summer, the trail erupts in wildflowers, including the rhododendron, Washington State's official flower. As elk roam the forests above and below the river, the trail heading west is well-maintained and gains elevation slowly. Crossing a few stunning bridges and passing by numerous backcountry campsites, this is an amazing trail to see the remote beauty of the Dosewallips River.

With three backcountry camping areas resting near the river, even the most leisurely of trekkers can explore and enjoy this trail. The bridge crossing after Diamond Meadows is stunning, and will revitalize and energize you to keep climbing to reach Anderson Pass. Seriously, this trail is incredible and should be experience by everyone who is interested in backpacking into the wilderness of Washington's favorite National Park.

Flora & Fauna

In the spring and early summer, bear grass, salal and rhododendrons erupt in a dazzling display of color and beauty. Elk and black bear can be seen along the trails during the majority of the year.

Contacts

Shared By:

Doug Scott

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#10624

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#530

in Washington

#10,624

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1,118 Since Mar 5, 2015
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Photos

Terrific views of White Mountain on the hike up to the Anderson Glacier moraine.
Jan 23, 2016 near Seabeck, WA
Crossing the Dosewallips. It's a long way down.
Oct 15, 2019 near Brinnon, WA

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Aug 3, 2017
Joey Galvin
Jun 17, 2016
Bryce Finney

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