Staircase Rapids Loop is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lilliwaup, Washington that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.1 miles Elevation Gain: 213 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

washed out

fee

no dogs

This road is also closed seasonally for snow and wet conditions. Please check with Olympic National Park for status updates. Short loop trail through forests and along a stream at the Staircase ranger station on Lake Cushman. Note: National Park Pass or entry fee of $25 per car required or $10 fee to walk in

hiking
9 days ago

Very easy trail and nice views. Perfect for a family outing. access road is beautiful along the lake. Road is not rough at all and you can make if with any vehicle. Parking might be a bit of a challenge. Recommended if you are in the area.

hiking
9 days ago

100% open, easy hike with beautiful views! The road in is right along lake cushman and there’s plenty of places to stop and eat lunch/enjoy the lake. Def a must while you’re in Washington!

hiking
11 days ago

Gorgeous hike! plenty of areas to get down and see the river up close. not overcrowded however parking was difficult. the directions on this app dont take you to the trail head. will go back to explore more!

hiking
12 days ago

Very little snow in the way of the trail, only a little remaining in the last steep half mile to flapjack lakes. Perfectly wonderful weekend hike, on the first day of the National Park opening back up.

hiking
blowdown
17 days ago

We were ready for potholes on the road but there were road machinery filling in the pot holes. They were working all morning. Roads are good! We got there at 7am. Road is closed 1 mile from the trailhead. So the hike was 4.5 miles roundtrip. There was one blow down tree that I went under and my husband climbed over. Other than that the trail is in pretty good condition. We had our face masks ready but we were the only ones on the trail until the end. Please please please don’t park where there are signs that say No Parking. There is a little parking area 0.1 miles away from that gate. Josilhouette on Instagram

hiking
22 days ago

Love this trail. Not to miss if you’re in the area. Great swimming hole, freezing in June. Almost couldn’t find it after years of being there from the fallen trees.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike. Trailhead is closed so park along the side of the road and walk half a mile to the trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

such an easy hike. you do need to buy a pass to park

hiking
2 months ago

The road to the trailhead is NOT closed as the note above says, however there are many potholes for about a 5-mile stretch before getting to the newly paved road at the park entrance. The trail has been improved recently and was perfect for hiking with the 6 year old today. At one point, a large tree fell over the path, but most people could crawl under or over it. I'm sure it will be removed soon. This is one of our favorite family hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

Great easy trail with good views on the way of Lake Cushman! Well marked trail, good for any skill level.

hiking
2 months ago

Our 5 and 8 year old were able to complete this trail with ease. The last 5 miles to get to the trailhead is super bumpy. Lots of pots holes, you have to go slow. (Also on this road though are many places to pull off and walk down a few steps to Lake Cushman, it is really pretty!)

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail. Easy hike and incredibly beautiful! I believe we were the only ones there for the entire hike. We chose the Loop due to time constraints but it still fulfilled our need for hiking in some incredible scenery! So many old growth trees, moss, and the Skokomish River was breathtaking! I will be back! FYI you must have a national Park pass to enter.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
3 months ago

Check out this video showcasing the hike and conditions on this day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZzY8Tja9jY https://www.youtube.com/HaiTran This is a hike that I’ve done a few times before but it’s one of those that I enjoy enough to do multiple times. Before you decide to do this hike, you should know that the drive here is a journey in itself. The last 5 miles or so before the trailhead is just gravel and compact dirt. What makes this bad is the minefield of potholes. They are everywhere and some are quite deep. Having a vehicle with some ground clearance and tire sidewall will greatly help but not absolutely necessary. I mean, if I can make it there and back in a Toyota Corolla, almost any other vehicle can. Just take it slow because some vehicles can definitely bottom out the suspension if you try to speed through this area. Be EXTREMELY careful at the beginning where the gravel road warning sign is. Right at the transition between the paved and gravel road, there is a chunk of road missing. I won’t call this a pothole because it’s multi-feet long and pretty deep. Be aware and dodge it if you can because if you hit this thing at full speed, you’re probably not going to have a good time. Once you make it to the trailhead, things should go pretty smoothly. This is an easy to moderate hike. A good bit of the trail is flat ground but there are some hill climbs no matter the direction you go. I like this trail because it offers some nice scenery. You get the big moss-covered trees, crowded woodland, rivers, streams, bridge crossing and a variety of other things. For the relatively little effort that you have to put in, you get a lot in return. On this day, the trail was in overall good condition. There were around 6 trees that have fallen onto the trail but almost all of them can be easily walked around or stepped over. There’s only one fallen tree by the suspension bridge that may give some people trouble. This tree has fallen just so that there’s enough space for a smaller person to squat (knees to chest) and shift their way under or a bigger person to use the other fallen trees to climb on top of the trunk and make an approximately 4 feet high jump. Some people may not be able to do either of these things and at that point, there isn’t much else to do but crawl under the trunk. Aside from that, there wasn’t much to complain about. It’s been raining in the area so mud was kind of expected but I found that all the patches of mud can be easily walked around. That being said, there were quite a few footprints in the mud. I would assume that these people just wanted to walk through the mud because again, you can easily walk around it. I should also mention that I was hit by a few bugs. It happened less than a handful of times so maybe I just got unlucky. Spring is just around the corner so you can expect to start seeing more bugs in the future. Overall, this is a hike that I can recommend. The road to the trailhead may be a nightmare but the trail itself is quite enjoyable. Definitely give this one a try.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Great trail beautiful views. A few potholes on the road in but not the park service fault. Nice beautiful hike family friendly.

hiking
off trail
3 months ago

Lots of down trees, some you really gotta climb over, others are cleared or you can go around. All and all, nice short trail. My hike was a little off trail to see the big cedar, and some little side spots near the water.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful day for this super easy walk/hike! Trail muddy in spots (but it is February), go easy on the potholes especially when you enter/exit the pavement to dirt. Blissfully peaceful with very few travelers today (usually crazy busy!) Water running strong & such a gorgeous aquamarine color through the rapids. Perfect!!

hiking
blowdown
3 months ago

Beautiful trail through a lush forest, huge trees, moss, and rivers and streams. 2/25 several trees down on the trail to navigate over.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

3 months ago

fun hike, great for kids. stopped at the river. a few areas with pretty views

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Great fun for the family! The bridge at the halfway point was a great prize for the younger ones to see. Slightly rainy, but there’s no such thing as a bad day. Large logs to cross over on the paths. Pot holes on the drive in are not too bad for normal vehicles.

hiking
blowdown
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Beautiful hike. Friends commented that the moss hanging from some of the bare trees looked like tinsel, and the reddish-brown leaves in the hanging moss looked like ornaments. :-) Other views included super large rocks covered in vibrant green moss, swift moving water, blue skies, and snow-dusted mountain peaks. Potholes on unpaved section of road were largely avoidable. Paved road in excellent condition.

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