Old Sauk River Trail is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Darrington, WA that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Darrington: Take the Mt. Loop Hwy. along the west side of the Sauk River. Follow this road for 4 miles going past the Clear Creek Campground. The trailhead is on the left.
Nice secluded hike, with little in & out traffic or inclines. Perfect for beginners, kids & dogs. Well maintained trail following the Sauk River. Perfect for a calm day hike!! Enjoyed the trail & beautiful scenery.
Crew working on the trail today clearing the last of the down tree blockages. Beautiful day. Beautiful hike. The dog loves it. Other than the 3-person work crew, I only saw one other person on the trail today.
As of 4/10 the trail has many large trees down from the heavy rain and wind over the Fall/Winter. Some are easy to navigate over or around. Others not so much. We were done with our hike this time about a mile in by an impassable tree with two dogs with us. Be aware before you head out and plan accordingly.
Love this hike! Easy, very well maintained, family friendly and above all...gorgeous!
We've gone twice now, and LOVE IT! It's VERY easy. For the most part flat. The river is visible for a good portion of the hike, with a few makeshift trail points down to it. A little buggy in parts. Some trailrunners. Haven't run into any dogs yet on the trail, other than my own. It seems to be very lightly used, and I can't imagine why. It's well maintained, and a beautiful hike. Easy to access, ample parking, at either the "beginning" or the "end" to choose how to do this hike as you'd like. No pass required.
This last weekend we hiked it as the fires raged on just to the east of there, and covered the entire area in smoke. The trees and river helped to filter a lot out.
Decided on a whim to go for an easy hike yesterday and I'm glad that i chose this one. No gain and no loss along the river. Walked out to the rocks to dip my feet in the cool water while I rested. Looking for something relaxing and easy then this is your trail
Stop looking for another beginners/out-of-shape/romantic getaway trail. This is it; my emerald green & steel blue sparkling gem.
The trail itself is semi-soft, no rocks and not compressed dirt-into-shale, like other trails. Perfect for my sore feet and Asics running shoes. I carry a 40lb backpack for endurance training and rough terrain really taxes me. This trail was the perfect blend of level and soft that makes me want to bring everyone I've ever known and show off my find!
Best trail weather: ~72F and partly cloudy. Most of this trail is 15 yards from the river to your left. As such, there are times you're hiking exposed, and others you're hiking in semi-dense forest. I don't tolerate heat well. YMMV.
View my track for this trail under my profile for 10+ photos. This is the 1st and only trail I've rated 5 stars.
Google Maps location for "Old Sauk Trail" is exactly accurate for the trailhead. Pull over at the yellow and brown national forest sign (Old Sauk) and there's only 1 trail to follow.
There's a gas station and 24hr restroom in Darrington. Emergency: From the trail, turn right to walk along Mountain Loop Hwy to Clear Creek Rd for 22mins to reach the nearest houses.
This is a great hike for all ages! But there were a lot of bugs.
This is one of our family's favorite hikes. I bring dog + three teenagers. It's an easy walk and lovely.
Came back for the second time. Was a little hotter than I expected, but the handful of water views were cooling. Driving through the Oso construction site was jaw dropping. Go spend some money in Darrington. They need it!
We arrived at the trailhead about 9:45, three humans and two dogs. We were the only people in the snow covered parking lot. Upon seeing the snow, the dogs went BONKERS!
This is a really nice little trail with virtually no elevation gain. Lots of tree coverage. Would probably be a good summer hike as well. I was hoping to let the dogs off leash, but felt the river was a little too "raging" for off leash shenanigans.
We only saw one other group of hikers, four humans and two dogs. The dogs (all Labs) had a great time meeting and greeting each other. A fun time was had by all.
Nice maintained trail with easy parking. Great place to do some flat walking anytime of the year!
Nothing too special but very easy and pretty. Can view river often and plenty of ways to get down to it. The trail gets pretty narrow at times and so you're walking through spider webs very often!
Very few people, but good facilities. Bathroom at trailhead nearest "Interpretive" trail. Not much interpreting , but very nice gravel road for 1 mile loop. The rest of the trail is a narrow dirt one with minor elevation changes. Not much to see if you are used to the NW trees, although there are some river views.
Very pretty! Not too many people out first thing in the morning. Path is clear and follows the river. No climbs, lovely for beginners or those just looking for a stroll.