Notch Pass Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Quilcene, WA that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Quilcene: Travel south for one mile to Penny Creek Road. Take a right and travel for one mile. When you come to two gravel roads, take the left fork and continue for approximately 1/2 a mile. Take a right on Forest Service Rd 010. If you reach the National Forest boundary and Road 27 you have gone too far. On Rd 010, travel for one mile to the trailhead.
WTA work crew worked all summer replacing one of the foot bridges along Notch Pass.
Great trail, very quiet... We were the only ones there the day we went up. Trail is well maintained, and you start climbing right from the get go!
Notch Pass Trail has a special meaning for me. I was part of the WTA crew that reopened this trail. This year I plan to begin my x5050 hike across the Olympic Wilderness July 16th, 2013. I turned 50 this year so I plan to hike 50 days criss-crossing the Olympics, thus the name - x5050. There are really no great views on this trail, however, it does take you to one of the most beautiful sections of the Big Quilcene River at a newly replace bridge along the Lower Big Quilcene Trail. It seems like most people only want to hike trails with a view, but I enjoy trails like Notch Pass that allow me to actually experience the forest that make up the panoramic views.
Had the entire trail to myself! I went right up the first road intersection thinking it was the second and added some time, elevation and miles to my trip. Such is life. Great trail for the early months. However, there was an extremely large blowdown to negotiate after the first road intersection. The trail is almost completely buried by snow and trees for that section. I went all the way to Bark Shanty, had lunch then came back. Townsend Creek and the Big Quil are pretty great sites to visit. Only downside is the lack of any major vistas or sights. I guess you can't always get what you want. On the way out the wind kicked up to about 30+ gusts and I was slightly nervous about trees blowing down.
Very quiet, but peaceful. I only got to hike half of it. Ran out of time. Want to go back soon though.
Great trail for early season hikes when the snow level is too low for other trails. There was a little snow at the top but not bad. The bridge where Notch Pass intersects with the Lower Big Quilcene Trail is under construction right now.