is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Elwha River Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews
#51 of 166 trails in

Elwha River Trail is a 25.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Port Angeles, Washington that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 25.7 miles Elevation Gain: 6,115 feet Route Type: Point to Point




nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


no dogs

TEMPORARY/INDEFINITE ROAD CLOSURE: Whiskey Road leading up to trail is closed to vehicles indefinitely due to a washout on Olympic Hot Springs Road. Please check park website for current road and trail status.

11 months ago

We backpacked this trail in 4 days and a wake-up. We got dropped off at Hurricane Ridge and took the Wolf Creek Trail 8 miles down to the Whiskey Bend Trail Head. A pretty quick drop in elevation definitely was hard on the knees and makes your ears pop. Then stayed in Lillian Camp the first night. Great spot close to the river with great amenities. The trek wasn't too bad getting to Hayes River the second night. There is a great swimming hole under the bridge. Martin's Lake was not an easy find at the Low Divide the third night. The trail was empty until the third night. The Sixteen Mile campground could use a sign or two with some direction as to where to Ford the River. A couple of Cairns on the other side helped us find our way. From Low Divide we hiked to Wolf Bar; another wonderful site. The original plan was to stay at Elip Creek, but it was taken over by Volunteers cleaning the trail. (Thank you!) Not a single downed tree from Elip to Quinault. Only 4 stars due to trail conditions and not very scenic compared to the south fork Enchanted Valley.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

We did an extended stay in this area and it was incredible. Loved the hike, loved the nature, loved the views. Our original goal was different than what happened in reality but the trail never disappointed. We went in mid May. You will enjoy Bears, Deer, and hopefully some Elk. Elkhorn was our favorite campsite

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Loved the hike. Had great weather and the park to ourselves. It was kinda like a ghost town due to the washout closing the park.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Olympic hot springs road is currently closed at the Madison Falls Trailhead parking lot and further to all vehicles due to major road washout! You can walk/bike in along the road. According to the sign it’s approximately 3 miles from the parking lot to the Glines Dam overlook. Cheers!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Stepped off on Friday 3 November 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Went as far as Lilian river camp on Friday due to stepping off so late on Friday. The trail was maintained and easy to follow. Plenty of additional sites to visit along the way to include mikes cabin. Set up camp along Lillian river and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water. Plenty of deer along the path which made for some great moments. Saturday was a different story with plenty of snow fall during the day. On Sunday I headed back. Needed to use some crampons for better footing but the trail was still easy to follow. All in all great trip and a great area.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Quiet interrupted by the rapids, clicks of the birds and smell of sweet grasses

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is a wonderful trail! I spent 6 days, 5 nights hiking up to the Low Divide, with intentions to go on to Lake Quinalt. The Elwha trail is great for beginner backpacking, with plenty of water and easy camping. Views of the river and the surrounding snow capped peaks are incredible, but don't expect any great vistas. It's just too low before the Low Divide to see any distance. If you plan to hike through the Low Divide and on to the North Fork of the Quinalt in spring, DO YOUR RESEARCH. I planned for snow, talked with rangers, read up on reports and was still taken aback by the conditions at the Low Divide. It was quite an adventure and I ended up turning around at Lake Margaret and went back up the Elwha. Had I gone through, I wouldn't have been able to cross the North Fork of the Quinalt anyways. It was absolutely beautiful up there though **sigh. Happy trails!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The trail was very well maintained. The bear wires were easy to use and the campsites allowed for privacy and were set up nicely, some with pre made firepits. This trail is an awesome beginners backpacker trail. Some elevation but mostly flat. Gorgeous the whole way.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Great trail with plenty of water along the trail. Went in early May, so we had to bike/walk uphill to the trailhead, but we were the only ones on the trail for two days. Amazing campsites on the river at Mary's Falls. Plenty of meadows which are great for spotting elk and black bears.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Hiked about 6-7 miles out and back as we had to walk to the trail head due to roads being closed. Gorgeous path.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Great hike, pretty long and steep at some points so not for anyone who is particularly out of shape. Awesome/interesting scenery and camping. Pretty popular trail in the summer.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Great hike, I did an overnight hike and to hike to camp and back out the next day was around 14 miles. Moderate difficulty, some areas easier then others, the hard part for some is the distance. Beautiful scenery, peaceful, there are several places along the way to stop and site see :) I like this hike in the early fall due to the changing colors all over the place.

1 month ago

3 months ago

6 months ago

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Featured Trails