Lower Big Quilcene to Notch Pass Trail Junction is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Quilcene, Washington that features a river. The trail is good for all skill levels offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.6 miles
695 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


cross country skiing


mountain biking


trail running




wild flowers



This is an easy hike for any and all skill levels- peaceful and scenic. At the fork go to the right and there will be a sign ahead (within 1 mile from the fork) and you will turn to the left. Drive down the path about 1/2 mile and there is parking and a long drop outhouse.

8 days ago

Lovely, well maintained trail easy enough for all levels including beginners. It follows a river. If the lovely couple who graciously loaned me her shoes and his socks because I left my boots at home see this, please contact me so I can return your things. You took down my number but would not give me yours. You live in the Olalla area. I am an honest person and want to return your boots and socks.

22 days ago

My husband, dog and I enjoyed this trail today. A few cars at the trail head when we arrived at 11:00. Beautiful walk through the woods, high above the river for most of the way. There are two bridges crossing the river, at the second one you're able to get down to the river and there's a nice spot to enjoy lunch and for the dog to swim. We didn't go all the way to the Notch Pass junction, but I think it's just a few minutes beyond the second bridge. More people coming up the trail when we headed down, and most of them had dogs. Very enjoyable, not difficult, day hike!

1 month ago

Beautiful peaceful walk to take with my dog! Great find!

2 months ago

My dog & I had a fabulous hike! Definitely going to hike here again.

2 months ago

Great hike, easy out and back, river was beautiful

2 months ago

Easy trail, but nothing special.

4 months ago

easy trail quiet and peaceful me and my dog gauge to notch pass and back 6-21-18

5 months ago

Trail was in good shape even in the rain. Like mentioned recently there are some trail wash outs but they have been repaired and you can easily pass through. Also there is no drop box for the fee so make sure you have you pass in advance.

5 months ago

Trail was in very good shape the flowers were showing off and the river was beautiful there were two slides but the trail has been repaired

6 months ago

Lots of rocks on the trail, but a great hike. River is beautiful, sun shines through the trees on nice days. Lots of green. Second fork you want to go right, we went left about 6 miles and had to turn back to get back on track. Got a good scenic drive in as well. Watch out for the pot holes. Happy hiking!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Nice Fall hike with our 2 dogs. We went to the bark shanty area and back. Never did find a actual shelter though. Trail is well maintained and very easy walking. Views of river after the 2nd mile are nice.

Update to Directions... take the right at the 2nd fork not the first one you see!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

this was a nice break from all the uphill hiking there was a nice river and it was a great relaxing hike probably one of my favorites

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This was a nice and relaxing trail. I'm curious how the materials for the bridges were brought in, those are not simple Boyscout creations!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Very nice trail for all skill levels. I took my 11 and 7 year olds up to the Notch Pass Trail junction. They were tired by the end, but loved every minute of it! Lovely scenery and quite a few fellow hikers along the way made for a very nice day hike!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This was an easy hike for any and all skill levels. It was peaceful, scenic, and well enjoyed! A big thank you to other hikers regarding the directions...at the fork go to the right and there will be a sign ahead (within 1 mile from the fork) and you will turn to the left. Drive down the path about 1/2 mile and there is parking and a long drop outhouse.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A good flat hike that I did with my dad & brother. The directions on alltrails however is wrong. When you see the sign that says "Big Quilcene, 11 miles" take that right & not the left that the gps tells you to. You'll see another sign soon after that tells you to take a left for half a mile to get to the lower big Quilcene trailhead.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Emery pretty protected hike. Best to go on toward Notch Pass Trail to Thomson Creek. A gem at the end!

Monday, March 20, 2017

We decided to head out with our three kiddos for a hike on this sunny day in March and this one was perfect. There are lots of waterfalls and small creeks to jump over on the trail. The trail is nice and not difficult even for our six year old.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Easy trail - well maintained. Trek through a nice forest to a river.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

In the beginning its really muddy but the views is amazing!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Great hike! Beautiful scenery. Perfect hike for any skill level. Would highly recommend and will definitely do this one again.

trail running
Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The first three miles of this trail are fairly straight, paralleling the river below. While there are no great views you still can have a very pleasant, comfortable run enjoying the sound of the river and siting small critters and snails along the wide path. At mile marker three there were two, single track trails that looked more to my trail running liking, but I was out of time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lovely shaded trail with plenty of photographic opportunities. Only went about 3 miles in but looking forward to doing the full 6 miles to the end sooner rather than later!

Monday, August 18, 2014

We just moved to western Washington and this is our first hike. We were there with 3 adults and 2 dogs. It's a lovely walk. We made it to just beyond Bark Shanty before we turned back. While there were 6 cars at the trailhead when we arrived, we only encountered a couple hiking on the way out and one on the way back. I assume the rest were camping or hiking further than we did.

We plan to keep at this trail as we build up our endurance so we can see the rest of the trail.

The only thing that wasn't perfect about our hike was encountering an off leash dog. Even if your dog is friendly, you cannot assume that someone else's dog is and most dogs on leash view an off leash dog rushing at them as a threat to themselves and their person. Please keep your dog on a leash as required.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This is one of our favorite trails. My brother is visiting later this year and this is one of the hikes I plan to take him on. Quiet, great views and never a disappointment on this trail

Sunday, March 02, 2014

I added a photo with the grid coordinates for the trailhead and attempted to update the SP on this trail's page. An earlier poster is right; the directions through AllTrails is inaccurate. If you have a gps or a cellphone app like MotionX that can use Lat/Lon, my photo should direct you right to the trailhead.

I went with my four legged hiking partner at the start of March. There was still snow on the ground and flurries in the air. I liked that; he didn't.

This is a great trail for photographers. Multiple waterfalls abound; bring your tripod for some long exposures and make sure to take your shots down a full step.

I got a late start and made it as far as Bear Shanty Shelter (5.8 m, roundtrip); but appreciated the hard work of the WTA in the new bridges. On my way back, fog rolled in off the Hood Canal, and it was really stunningly beautiful, in a "Sleepy Hollow" sort of way.

In terms of crowds, I saw three other groups, two with dogs. While one group didn't have their dog, a teacup poodle, on the leash, it was a well behaved gentleman, so it gets a pass. This is a good trail for dogs. There's a lot of interesting nooks and crannies for them. Mine found a bear track, probably his first, and bristled and was beside himself. All in all a good day. Thanks, National Forest Service.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Great trail. Easy hike from the trailhead to Bark Shanty. From there you hike along the river for a little and the scenery become more photogenic. Loved the hike and once again no disappointment.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just spent the night at camp Jolley. Note: If you plan on camp Jolley...keep your eyes peeled for it! At the spot from the trail you can see it, there's a decline of loose sand, and I was too busy watching my footing and hiked right by it...ended up doing an extra mile and a half before I got to ANOTHER trailhead, and had to go back the mile and a half to find it! Bark shanty camp is a better campsite, though.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I found this trailhead no problem (maybe because I used the WTA.org coordinates). Beautiful hike, even though I didn't go any further than bark shanty camp. I'm gonna go back soon and push through to camp jolley. I spent the night at bark shanty, which is right next to a large creek or tributary...or some body of rushing water! I was the only camper, so I had a whole night of complete solitude...it was great. Easy trail, but with a 75 pound pack, it's definitely more challenging!

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