Lost Valley Trail and McKenny Trail Loop

MODERATE 34 reviews
#2 of 13 trails in

Lost Valley Trail and McKenny Trail Loop is a 7.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Olympia, Washington that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1177 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

forest

views

bugs

A Discovery Pass is required to enter Capitol State Forest. Off-road vehicle users and horse-back riders can use Capitol State Forest Trails from May 1 - November 30 only. This loop begins by following the Mima Falls Trail West (Trail No. 8 across for the parking spot) for 0.4 mile down to a junction in the Lost Valley Creek. The trail on your left is your return route. These trails are in excellent shape thanks to the volunteer work of the Back-country Horsemen (and women) of Washington. Head right on Trail No. 20. Climbing gradually, pass a few big firs, a lot of skunk cabbage, and an active beaver pond. In 1.4 miles come to a junction with Trail No. 6, the Green Line ( It will say Green Line as soon as you cross the Logging Road). Turn left and follow this good trail. Climb a bit more, and after crossing a logging road enter a mature second-growth forest. Begin a long descent into the Sherman Creek valley. At 2.6 miles emerge from the forest to cross a recent cut. Notice the temperature change. Notice Capitol Peak and Larch Mountain in front of you. At 3.25 miles reach the lovely Sherman Creek valley, where you'll come to another trail junction. The trail right crosses the creek (bridge out as of summer 2006) and heads to the Fall Creek trailhead and onward to the Capitol Crest. You'll want to continue left for an enjoyable journey down the valley. Plenty of lunch spots along the way will entice you to take a break. After about 3 miles of hiking along the creek you'll come to an old trail junction. There used to be a trailhead on the other side of the creek, but it and the road no longer exist. This decommissioning has helped return a little solitude to this region. The trail now leaves Sherman Creek to follow Lost Valley Creek upstream. This is the best part of the loop. Under a canopy of moss-draped alders and big cedars, the trail uses an old logging railroad bed. After 1 mile of heading up Lost Valley Creek, look for trestle remnants. Look, too, along the creek for relics from the old logging days. Broken bricks and porcelain plates litter the area. Be sure to leave these artifacts for others to enjoy.

17 days ago

Great to get up in Capital Forest

1 month ago

nice trail. well kept up. not hard at all but it did have enough elevation gain to remind me just how out of shape I've become over winter.

Glad I went south to start, along the creek, and slowly gain altitude rather than heading off to the left and climb the mountain all at once.

only hiker then after 4:00 a small handful of cyclists appeared.

will be doing this one again.

hiking
5 months ago

we took lost valley trail. lots of different trail systems. easy to find. easy to navigate. perfect bike/horse/hiking trails. only a slight uphill grade and great for kids of all ages. we did 8miles in 3hrs. not as challenging as we like but it was a nice walk in the woods with multiple water crossings. No place for discovery pass get one before you go out no cell service to buy it online. 1-12-18

hiking
5 months ago

This is actually called the lost valley trail

hiking
9 months ago

Trail was cool until we encountered a swarm of bees. Happened about 1 mile in not too far after turning left onto McKenny trail. Everyone in our group was stung multiple times. Luckily no allergies. Not sure if it was a nest or what, took off quick back toward the car. Bee careful!

9 months ago

the trail is actually called "lost valley". and u hike part of the Mckenny trail to make it a loop. good long hike.

hiking
9 months ago

I was going off the mileage (7.9) posted on this app, but I ended up walking 10.2 miles (adjusted for pre-hike walking). Not sure why there is such a huge difference. Other than that debacle, really good trail: I experienced all types of terrain though it was all in moderation. You should try this out if you are nearby.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice hike on a sunny day. At the start of the loop, we went left and dealt with the elevation gain up front. Made for a nice downhill hike for most of the remaining 5.5 miles or so. Trail was in good shape mostly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Really wet today took the boy out with me, large amount of trees down covering trail. Great scenery, will be vack soon to finish it off

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Very very well-kept trail. Lots of shade with a few open breaks. Only saw three mountain bikers and no one else on a Tuesday morning and afternoon. Very quiet with no car or airplane noise even. Nice even doses of easy uphill, easy downhill, and nice straits. Just a very good trail all the way around. Would definitely come back again. If you follow the directions on the app GPS you end up driving past where the trail crosses the road by a few hundred yards. The actual coordinates are 46.925837 -123.112538.

hiking
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

To Get There:
From Seattle take I-5 south to exit 95. Follow Maytown Road west for 3 miles until reaching the small town of Littlerock. At a stop sign proceed west on Littlerock Road, which soon turns left. Bear right here onto 128th Ave, following sins for Capitol State Forest. In less than 1 mile turn left at the T intersection on Mima Road and after 1.5 miles turn right onto Bordeaux Road. Follow the paved road for 3.5 miles until the fork in the road. Bear right and following the D line for 0.6 mile to a four-way intersection on a hill crest. turn right onto the the D-4000 Line and follow this good gravel road for 2 miles to its junction with the D-4400 Line, where you find the trailhead. There is one small parking slot and the trail you want to take is across the road (there are two trailheads).

This loop begins by following the Mima Falls Trail West (Trail No. 8 across for the parking spot) for 0.4 mile down to a junction in the Lost Valley Creek. The trail on your left is your return route. These trails are in excellent shape thanks to the volunteer work of the Back-country Horsemen (and women) of Washington.

Head right on Trail No. 20. Climbing gradually, pass a few big firs, a lot of skunk cabbage, and an active beaver pond. In 1.4 miles come to a junction with Trail No. 6, the Green Line ( It will say Green Line as soon as you cross the Logging Road). Turn left and follow this good trail. Climb a bit more, and after crossing a logging road enter a mature second-growth forest. Begin a long descent into the Sherman Creek valley. At 2.6 miles emerge from the forest to cross a recent cut. Notice the temperature change. Notice Capitol Peak and Larch Mountain in front of you.

At 3.25 miles reach the lovely Sherman Creek valley, where you'll come to another trail junction. The trail right crosses the creek (bridge out as of summer 2006) and heads to the Fall Creek trailhead and onward to the Capitol Crest. You'll want to continue left for an enjoyable journey down the valley. Plenty of lunch spots along the way will entice you to take a break.

After about 3 miles of hiking along the creek you'll come to an old trail junction. There used to be a trailhead on the other side of the creek, but it and the road no longer exist. This decommissioning has helped return a little solitude to this region. The trail now leaves Sherman Creek to follow Lost Valley Creek upstream. This is the best part of the loop. Under a canopy of moss-draped alders and big cedars, the trail uses an old logging railroad bed. After 1 mile of heading up Lost Valley Creek, look for trestle remnants. Look, too, along the creek for relics from the old logging days. Broken bricks and porcelain plates litter the area. Be sure to leave these artifacts for others to enjoy.

The trail comes to an end on a road with a decision of going left or right. We went right and walked the road to the next T then went right again. At the next intersection (D-4600) we used out GPS and decided that left was the way to go which put us back on D Line. I think that we may have had a shorter walk (our route was 10.2 miles) if we had gone right. But take your GPS and do some figuring. I got the above directions on Washington Trails website and corrected it to the best of my memory. It was a beautiful hike and I will definitely go back and do it again with a pad and pen.

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7 months ago

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8 months ago

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9 months ago

11 months ago

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11 months ago

Sunday, June 18, 2017

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

recorded Sherman Creek Loop Trail

Saturday, April 22, 2017

hiking
Monday, March 20, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

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