North Fork Skokomish River Trail

HARD 14 reviews
#72 of 158 trails in

North Fork Skokomish River Trail is a 23.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
23.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,167 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

no dogs

From Hoodsport, west 9 miles on Lake Cushman Road to Forest Service Road 24. Turn left and drive 6.5 miles to Staircase Ranger Station and the trailhead. $25 fee per car to enter.

backpacking
22 days ago

The North Fork Skokomish River Trail was my first overnight backpacking trip. We spent 3 days and 2 nights. Our first night was at Home Sweet Home. Getting there the first ten miles are flat and very well maintained. We had lunch at Nine Streams camp. Nine Streams is a wonderfully maintained camp and the last place to camp where you can have an open fire. (in a fire ring, of course.) The next 4-5 miles of trail are straight up. Just after Nine Streams, up the river there is no bridge, but a decent place to rock hop just across the trail on the opposite side. The switch backs in the beginning of this section of the trail remind me of Wagon Wheel trail, located in the same park. There is some meadow crossing, with beautiful flowers and butterflies. Watch the trail in spots. The flora easily covers drops offs on the sides of the trail and completely covers t in spots. There are a couple of blow downs that are easily scrambled over or under. One you can walk around. On the way up we passed Two Bear camp. This camp is a great place for a break and it looked like it had a decent amount of spots with great access to water. Home Sweet Home was gorgeous Located in an expansive valley nestled between mountain peaks. Some snow obstructs the trail, but is easily walked around. There is a toilet and a bear wire. We found one of the bear wires to be tangled in itself and useless. The ranger was notified before we left. Hopefully it is fixed soon. A trail leads down to a creak where there is water access withing a couple hundred paces from camp. The valley this camp is in is very marshy which means mosquito chased us into our tents early. The trek back was similar to the hike up. We stayed at Big Log Camp on night 2. The trail down to the camp is steep. Keep in mind what you climb down you have to climb up! The camp was well maintained. We ran into a couple rangers here providing some of that maintenance. Privy was in good order. Multiple tent camp sites and fire rings. Bear wires were in good repair with a nice log below to stuff a bear canister. Easy water access.

backpacking
6 months ago

I have hiked this trail starting at the Duckabush trail head and linking to this trail then out. Also I have solo hiked this trail and linked to Duckabush and in to Marmot lake, then out on the Dosewallup trail and out.
This is a well maintained trail that starts along side the Skokomish River and meanders past a number of good camps. Camp Pleasent is well named and is large with ez access to water and only 7 miles in. Nine stream camp is 10 miles in and very good as well. At that point the trail climbs steadily. At 11.5 there is a good lunch camp called two Bears and has a small stream flowing directly thru the camp. The trail at 13 miles tops a ridge and you look down into a sub alpine meadow that forms a bowl and is home to a beauty of a place called Home Sweet Home. Here I have seen a Black Bear in the early morning as well as a herd of elk 70 to 80 strong! There is a small copse of trees in the camp that I have pitched my tent in and after a furociuos storm awoke in the morning to a dry tent.Continuing on the trail drops you down to the intersection of the Duckabush trail where you can continue out to the Duck trail head or travel further into the Olympics. For traveling further into the Olympics I recomend the Skokomish trail above the Duck as it has much more to offer.

backpacking
11 months ago

Great trail with beautiful views of mountains, waterfalls and wildlife. Be aware that there are rolling hills for about 8 miles, and then you climb a fairly easy ascent with switchbacks. Worth the trip, but nothing too difficult.

backpacking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

I've done this trail a couple of times and totally love it. Nice and cool in the summer with constant access to the river. Pretty flat up until Nine Stream, but there's snow past there up until July.

camping
Friday, July 15, 2016

National Park Pass or entry fee of $25 per car required. Entrance to trail starts at Staircase Campground. Staircase has some of the most beautiful scenery in the Olympics. This system of trails starts out easy and gains intensity as you go farther along. The road and trails are closed sometimes depending on weather and trail conditions. You can extend your hike in many directions and you can even hike in to camp along the river. Beware of bears if you camp and bring a rope to hang your food up in the trees.

backpacking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Trail well maintained, lots of clearings and monster cedars and firs. Beautiful hike. just prior to nine streams the trail is in rough shape requiring a precarious scramble around a log adjacent to an area of severe erosion. Bridge to nine streams is no longer functioning requiring a creek crossing. Where the trail dies you can rock hop safely over. Grab a seat and enjoy the show from hikers all trying to find their way across.

hiking
Friday, July 01, 2016

Skokomish

Walked the first 4 miles of Skykomish River trail that rises about 900 feet over 4 miles to the junction of Flapjacks trail. This 4 mile section includes 1 very scenic bridge over the skykomish river and a second bridge crossing of a major creek entering into the skykomish.

There is quite a bit of variety on the first couple miles of the trail and the second half is punctuated by nice scenic intersections with the river that offer beautiful views.

The junction at Flapjack trail is not very scenic but makes a good destination/breaking point as there is a nice giant sitting log that you can use as a make-shift picnic table for lunch before you head back, or continue on up the flap-jack, which is what many people do.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Nice overlooks in spots along the river. Especially on the way back. We went up as far as the flapjack trail (about 4 miles). There was a nice log there to have a snack and a little sit before heading back to the Staircase Ranger Station.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Took this trail to the Spike campsite, it had some steady elevation gain but nothing dramatic. Good views from time to time, overall an average hike. I want to take this trail further to see if it gets better.

hiking
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

We did this trip a few weeks ago with some friends and we all had a blast. This was the first big hike for my kids so we weren't pushing for time or distance but before we knew it, we were 5 miles out. The trail conditions were great. Most of the trail was dry with only a few damp areas. The bridges were neat and only one had us needing to hold everyone's hands. Once past the shorter rapids loop, we only ran in to a handfull of backpackers and trail runners. I think next time we will push a bit further and stay the night at Camp Pleasent. Looking forward to this trail again.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

hiking
Thursday, August 29, 2013