North Fork Skokomish River Trail is a 23.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.
From Hoodsport, west 9 miles on Lake Cushman Road to Forest Service Road 24. Turn left and drive 6.5 miles to Staircase Ranger Station and the trailhead. $25 fee per car to enter.
National Park Pass or entry fee of $25 per car required. Entrance to trail starts at Staircase Campground. Staircase has some of the most beautiful scenery in the Olympics. This system of trails starts out easy and gains intensity as you go farther along. The road and trails are closed sometimes depending on weather and trail conditions. You can extend your hike in many directions and you can even hike in to camp along the river. Beware of bears if you camp and bring a rope to hang your food up in the trees.
Trail well maintained, lots of clearings and monster cedars and firs. Beautiful hike. just prior to nine streams the trail is in rough shape requiring a precarious scramble around a log adjacent to an area of severe erosion. Bridge to nine streams is no longer functioning requiring a creek crossing. Where the trail dies you can rock hop safely over. Grab a seat and enjoy the show from hikers all trying to find their way across.
Walked the first 4 miles of Skykomish River trail that rises about 900 feet over 4 miles to the junction of Flapjacks trail. This 4 mile section includes 1 very scenic bridge over the skykomish river and a second bridge crossing of a major creek entering into the skykomish.
There is quite a bit of variety on the first couple miles of the trail and the second half is punctuated by nice scenic intersections with the river that offer beautiful views.
The junction at Flapjack trail is not very scenic but makes a good destination/breaking point as there is a nice giant sitting log that you can use as a make-shift picnic table for lunch before you head back, or continue on up the flap-jack, which is what many people do.
Nice overlooks in spots along the river. Especially on the way back. We went up as far as the flapjack trail (about 4 miles). There was a nice log there to have a snack and a little sit before heading back to the Staircase Ranger Station.
Took this trail to the Spike campsite, it had some steady elevation gain but nothing dramatic. Good views from time to time, overall an average hike. I want to take this trail further to see if it gets better.
We did this trip a few weeks ago with some friends and we all had a blast. This was the first big hike for my kids so we weren't pushing for time or distance but before we knew it, we were 5 miles out. The trail conditions were great. Most of the trail was dry with only a few damp areas. The bridges were neat and only one had us needing to hold everyone's hands. Once past the shorter rapids loop, we only ran in to a handfull of backpackers and trail runners. I think next time we will push a bit further and stay the night at Camp Pleasent. Looking forward to this trail again.