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North Fork Skokomish River Trail

HARD 55 reviews
#54 of 172 trails in

North Fork Skokomish River Trail is a 23.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 23.5 miles Elevation Gain: 5,167 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

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. The service road leading to the trailhead may be closed.

hiking
2 months ago

Spent first night at Two bear camp where the black flies got pretty bad so we took a little late afternoon nap in the safety of our tent. A couple hours later, the bugs went to sleep and we enjoyed our first evening under a ton of stars. Next day we hiked to the top of the first divide and continued down to Duck a Bush camp. This camp was awesome and is on the Duck a Bush river. Great spot to swim and pump water. We used this as a base camp for the rest of our hike which turned out to be a great move considering the amount of trees down heading up to heart lake. It was much easier to navigate the fallen frees with just a day pack on

hiking
2 months ago

Decided to challenge myself and attempt to make it up to First Divide and back down to the staircase parking lot all in one day. Stepped on the trail at 5:30 and reached First Divide at 10:45. The trail on here takes you within about 1000ft of First Divide so when the AllTrails trail ends, keep going! Really relaxing trail! 28 total miles.

backpacking
bugs
3 months ago

Trail is in great shape as usual. I decided to do an overnight trip the night before. I packed up and hit the trail around 10:30. There weren’t many cars in the newly paved lot. Ran into a couple day-hike groups coming back and one tandem of guys who had stayed at 9 stream. The weather was nice but a bit muggy for my liking. I did not really have a spot I was aiming for. I just wanted to hike and figured I’d stop when I wanted. That spot turned out to be Camp Pleasant about 7 miles in. This camp has a privy and working bear wires. I got there around 12:45 and set up camp. Went down to the river to filter some water and soak my legs. The water is cold but felt therapeutic to my out-of-hiking-shape feet. The site had a couple other campers but I found a secluded spot and just relaxed the rest of the day. Not one person came by the whole time I was there. The mosquitos started getting bad around 6 until a brief rain shower granted reprieve. I made dinner and eventually had to retreat back to the tent to escape the bugs. The hike out in the morning was wet but the rain felt refreshing. All-in-all and great short trip!

backpacking
3 months ago

Hiked the first 7m to Camp Pleasant- trail is in great condition, Ranger said she just spent a few days in the area working. Lots of folks on sat/sun until the fork to Flapjack’s- after that was pretty much alone until camp. Not many ‘views’ but several chill spots to cool off/snack. Bear wire & latrine at camp. Comfy riverside sites suitable for tents & hammocks. Bugs weren’t bad imo

camping
blowdown
bugs
3 months ago

We hiked from the Staircase Ranger Station up to First Divide and down to the Home Sweet Home camp. No one else at the camp, sky full of stars, deer in the meadow, cold fresh creek, it was absolutely spectacular. About 16 miles each way. Lots of trees across the trail, it looked they haven't cleared the trees away in several years. Nettles in abundance, thank goodness I wore long trousers. Flowers everywhere, such an amazing overnight hike.

backpacking
5 months ago

The service road to the trail head is closed. Take the "bumpy" dirt road/bridge, go up a road about half a mile to the Shady Lane trail head.its about 2.6 miles to the Staircase loop Trail head. but you'll take a right over the big bridge towards the ranger Station. once there, you'll see a sign that says "trail heads" about.2 mi. up to the North Fork Skokomish TH. you can take the Staircase TH as well, do half the loop and take the rapids loop trail to a bridge. you'll see a sign for the same ranger Station to the right and NFS trail to the left. we accidentally took the staircase trail to 4 streams thinking it was apart of North Fork. we were wrong but it was a happy accident, as we enjoyed a night by the river. the next morning we hiked back to the rapids loop trail and headed to Camp Pleasant which was about 6.5 miles in. there are more camps sites at mile 3.4 or 4 near a privy. Beautiful trip!!

backpacking
Monday, July 23, 2018

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
Monday, January 15, 2018

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
Saturday, August 19, 2017

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.

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