Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Port Angeles with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
13 days ago

My wife and I hiked this trail in late July 2018. We parked straight off of Hwy 101 and hiked clockwise, getting the majority of the vert early in the hike. We started in the fog, but quickly got above it to sunshine and beautiful views of Mt Olympus. The fog cleared as the hike progressed and the views South toward Mt Olympus got better and better! We also got great views of Crescent Lake from up high! The trail was easy to follow and well marked, with loads of wild, consumable berries to munch along the way. The short spur trail to the summit climaxed in a sign confirming the elevation, but no view. Still though do it because it’s no real additional effort. Total loop distance of 13 miles, and took us just at 6 hours at a casual pace. Enjoy and happy trails.

hiking
14 days ago

We did this hike August 5th 2018, we started from the other end to Lake Angela and to Khallane ridge trail and to Heather Park Trial, so 12.6miles not 15miles, over 8hours with breaks. Stunning views with all different type geographical makeups, forests, saw a herd of mountain goats. Very challenging around Khallane ridges and part of heather park trails. Worth every step and sweat’

backpacking
19 days ago

We backpacked this trail in 4 days and a wake-up. We got dropped off at Hurricane Ridge and took the Wolf Creek Trail 8 miles down to the Whiskey Bend Trail Head. A pretty quick drop in elevation definitely was hard on the knees and makes your ears pop. Then stayed in Lillian Camp the first night. Great spot close to the river with great amenities. The trek wasn't too bad getting to Hayes River the second night. There is a great swimming hole under the bridge. Martin's Lake was not an easy find at the Low Divide the third night. The trail was empty until the third night. The Sixteen Mile campground could use a sign or two with some direction as to where to Ford the River. A couple of Cairns on the other side helped us find our way. From Low Divide we hiked to Wolf Bar; another wonderful site. The original plan was to stay at Elip Creek, but it was taken over by Volunteers cleaning the trail. (Thank you!) Not a single downed tree from Elip to Quinault. Only 4 stars due to trail conditions and not very scenic compared to the south fork Enchanted Valley.

I hiked to Eagle Lakes from the Sol Duc Valley this weekend. It was wet, but the trail was in great shape. People have been telling me terrible things about this trail for the past 15 years, but I loved it. The first 2 miles is overgrown with nettle and blackberry. Make sure you are wearing rain pants and gaiters. The trail does most of it's ascending in the first 2.5 miles. Strange forest ecosystem up there. Tons of mushrooms. We thought we would have the lake alone, but alas we did not. We learned that there is a small second campsite on the low ridge between the lakes. The main campsite was wonderful. It had a creek, view and a helpful canopy. A mountain beaver burrowed all around it.

on Grand Pass Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

June 26/27 2018 We did this as a 2 night backpacking trip. Started late in the afternoon and go to Moose Lake about 5pm. traversed some snow patches but easily passed with boots and poles. no mosquitoes at this time. Tried r make it over Grand Pass, but there was too much snow and we didn't bring mirospikes. Lots of deer, saw 2 approx day old fawns.too cute! lots of very large marmots. Lots of wildfowers!

Beautiful views, but NO trail. If you like skating on shale, scaling ridges and having you wife tell you "We had a plan, and this wasn't it!" - then go for it. Otherwise, not recommended. Caught the trail from Grand Pass, after Gladys Lake. I can't imagine taking the trail from the first entrance off Grand Pass

We did an extended stay in this area and it was incredible. Loved the hike, loved the nature, loved the views. Our original goal was different than what happened in reality but the trail never disappointed. We went in mid May. You will enjoy Bears, Deer, and hopefully some Elk. Elkhorn was our favorite campsite

hiking
3 months ago

Loved the hike. Had great weather and the park to ourselves. It was kinda like a ghost town due to the washout closing the park.

The Olympic hot springs road is currently closed at the Madison Falls Trailhead parking lot and further to all vehicles due to major road washout! You can walk/bike in along the road. According to the sign it’s approximately 3 miles from the parking lot to the Glines Dam overlook.

Cheers!

This trail is an amazing workout in the forest. The trail climbs up steeply. There are several switchbacks but they are usually short. At the end of March, there was slippery, iced over snow on the trail starting at about 2 miles in.

I didn't really want to give stars because I didn't get a good enough feel. we started our hike at the trail head with 6, 7, 9,9, and 13 year olds. we only made it about 1.5 miles round trip because trees were falling all over the place at around 2100 feet up. what we saw was beautiful, but it wasn't worth risking injury.

backpacking
9 months ago

Stepped off on Friday 3 November 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Went as far as Lilian river camp on Friday due to stepping off so late on Friday. The trail was maintained and easy to follow. Plenty of additional sites to visit along the way to include mikes cabin. Set up camp along Lillian river and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water. Plenty of deer along the path which made for some great moments. Saturday was a different story with plenty of snow fall during the day. On Sunday I headed back. Needed to use some crampons for better footing but the trail was still easy to follow. All in all great trip and a great area.

The "Half Way" rock is mis marked on the trail map. It is a little further up the hill. Good workout, 1180' elevation gain just to half way rock. Pretty rain forest environment.

hiking
10 months ago

Quiet interrupted by the rapids, clicks of the birds and smell of sweet grasses

Good trail a bit overgrown at the top, but most are this time of year.

hiking
11 months ago

Rocky trail torwards the top! Really have to watch your footing! And it is a grind of a hike! The trail is actually 6.1 miles one way! And the lake was loaded with fish! It's also nice you can hike it on a warm day cause your shaded in the canopy most of the way to the top.

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tough hike from Sul Duc Falls to Deer Lake. Made the hike in late July. Pretty rugged trail. Uphill most of the way. Easy walk around Deer Lake with some nice views.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Three day, two night backpack trip last week.

Significant more elevation gain and loss than expected, but this route was INCREDIBLE!

Day 1: Obstruction Point to Deer Park to Three Forks campground.

Day 2: Three Forks along Cameron Creek to Grand Pass, down Grand Pass to Gladys Lake.

Day 3: Gladys Lake to Moose Lake, past Grand Lake and up Lillian Ridge and back down to Obstruction Point.

Special notes from trip:

- Two black bears followed us a while along the forested ridge before Deer Park, saw lots of prints down Deer Park to Three Forks. Neighbors camping at Gladys Lake startled a black bear when they went to the lake to eat breakfast in the morning. Lots of deer, young bucks specifically.
- Trail is pretty overgrown from the second footbridge along Cameron Creek to the junction where you begin ascending Grand Pass. One steep and sketchy ravine to cross... the nps rangers are aware of it and have left ribbons so you know where to enter again on the other side.
- Wildflowers were AMAZING!!!
- Being enough water when going from Obstruction Point to Deer Park... none available along there, and it's a hot, bare and exposed ridge.
- The "shelter" along Cameron Creek is just a three sided skeleton remnant of a past shelter, don't expect shade there.
- Salmonberries and blueberries were ripe for picking!


Next time I'd do it in a 4 day trip, not 3.

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

I did this trail clockwise so I could get the tough part out of the way first. You get on top after about 2.3 miles of climbing, but from then on it is fantastic! Incredible views and I had lunch at Jasmine's Meadow, overlooking the valley with a view of Lake Crescent. The trail is well marked and I saw no places where the trail had slid away (as someone previously reported), so they obviously have fixed it. So many variations of wild flowers that I kept stopping to take pictures! Awesome place.

backpacking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is a wonderful trail! I spent 6 days, 5 nights hiking up to the Low Divide, with intentions to go on to Lake Quinalt. The Elwha trail is great for beginner backpacking, with plenty of water and easy camping. Views of the river and the surrounding snow capped peaks are incredible, but don't expect any great vistas. It's just too low before the Low Divide to see any distance.
If you plan to hike through the Low Divide and on to the North Fork of the Quinalt in spring, DO YOUR RESEARCH. I planned for snow, talked with rangers, read up on reports and was still taken aback by the conditions at the Low Divide. It was quite an adventure and I ended up turning around at Lake Margaret and went back up the Elwha. Had I gone through, I wouldn't have been able to cross the North Fork of the Quinalt anyways. It was absolutely beautiful up there though **sigh.

Happy trails!

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Great hike with some beautiful views of Lake Crescent; however the views across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Canada are minimal and through the trees. We liked the option of the Muller Divide Trail in case we were tired, but never saw the junction, luckily we had decided to do the whole loop. There were just a few patches of snow left on the trail when we did the hike that didn't affect us. It is a lightly trafficked trail - we never saw another person. Note that this is part of the Olympic National Forest, and you have to pay $5 at the trailhead (envelopes and box available).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The trail was very well maintained. The bear wires were easy to use and the campsites allowed for privacy and were set up nicely, some with pre made firepits. This trail is an awesome beginners backpacker trail. Some elevation but mostly flat. Gorgeous the whole way.

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Attempted to hike the loop clockwise on Sunday May 21st. The hike up to Jim's junction was great. The trail was in excellent condition. On the ridge we encountered snow in a few patches but managed to get passed fairly easily. The summit and panoramic viewpoint offered amazing views. We started our decent but encountered snow that was not passable without snowshoes at the 5.7 mile mark. We turned around and descended the same way we came up. Tough hike but very rewarding views.

hiking
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hiked to the peak of Mt Muller and back on 5/22. As Tammy mentioned, around mile 5.7, you may hit some huge snow banks. We didn't feel well equipped enough to traverse the steep snow banks in just hiking boots, so turned back around mile 6. Still an amazing hike as an out and back--the views stretch to Canada, Mt Baker, and Crescent Lake. Also incredibly amazing variance in terrain and vegetation--great example of the amazingness of Washington wilderness! Definitely a challenging hike, but fairly quick for about 12 miles. My husband and I are really athletic, and it took us about 5 hours round trip (including a 20 min lunch break at the top). Nothing too technical or rocky--just lots of smooth, moderately steep switchbacks for the first 3.7 miles, then a bit of up and down along the ridge. Only saw 3 other hikes the whole time, so pretty lightly trafficked and quiet when we went. 100% worth it!!

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

This is a lightly trafficked route that makes for a fantastic day hike. I went with one friend and we experienced a little bit of everything - challenging uphill, breathtaking views, meadows, lush forest, etc. I would highly recommend this hike to anybody in decent shape. However, be very wary of snow/ice! After the peak, you start downhill on a side of the mountain that receives less sun. We found ourselves climbing and "ice picking" with sticks across 3+ ft snow banks for two miles (6-7) on the decent. Though challenging and exhilarating at times, traversing the near vertical, melting snow was definitely a risky task! It would have been much easier with proper snow shoes or poles. Once we passed the snow the rest of the downhill was gradual and easy. Would highly recommend after June/July for the panoramic views at the top!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Great trail with plenty of water along the trail. Went in early May, so we had to bike/walk uphill to the trailhead, but we were the only ones on the trail for two days. Amazing campsites on the river at Mary's Falls. Plenty of meadows which are great for spotting elk and black bears.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Hiked about 6-7 miles out and back as we had to walk to the trail head due to roads being closed. Gorgeous path.

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great trail with waterfalls and Boulder Lake at the end. There was literally no other hikers there when I went in August 2015 and I've no idea why not!

hiking
Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Aurora Ridge Trail is one of the less popular trails in the Olympic National Park system. Topping out at just under 4,800 feet the ridge never rises above the tree line. Consequently the majority of the hike is in the forest save for two meadows and several exposed hillsides. The trail itself is more of a suggestion than an actual trail and in the meadows the trail totally disappears. Also, water is a scarce resource on Aurora Ridge. As the ridge has no glaciers, the water supply is totally dependent on the snow pack which tends to melt off early in the season. Since this trail does not receive much foot traffic it also doesn’t receive much in the way of trail maintenance. Be prepared to find a way over, under, or around numerous blowdowns. In sunny areas the trail is obscured by heavy undergrowth. On the plus side, if you like solitude in the back country, your chances of encountering another hiker on this trail are extremely low.
I started from the trail head located on the Sol Duc Hot Springs road. I hiked to the Aurora Divide Trail and took the Aurora Divide Trail down to Barnes Creek and then followed Barnes Creek to the Storm King Ranger Station located on Lake Crescent. The entire hike was 26 miles with a total elevation gain of 6,000 feet.
The trail begins an immediate ascent through a second growth forest of Red Alder. It soon transitions to an old growth forest of fir, hemlock, and cedar. The trail meanders up hill on the south side of the ridge with one short foray to the north side where one can hear the traffic on Hwy 101 but no views of Lake Crescent are visible. After 6 miles the trail reaches the junction with the Eagle Lakes spur trail. Keep to the right. The trail wanders through the forest on the south side of the ridge for 2 more miles before finally emerging onto an exposed slope which gives the hiker a first unobstructed view of the North Fork of the Sol Duc river valley and of Aurora Ridge. The trail quickly returns to the forest and after another mile connects with a short spur trail to Sourdough Camp. The Sourdough spur trail climbs a short hill and reaches a small meadow. Across the meadow, the remains of the Sourdough shelter lie in a pile next to a relatively level spot where one might pitch a tent. In the north west corner of the tent area is a faint trail which, in the spring and early summer leads to a small trickle of water. On the north side of the meadow is another faint trail which leads to Sourdough Mountain. This spur trail climbs the hillside and comes out at a smaller meadow at the base of the west wall of Sourdough Mountain. The trail continues past the cliff base and circles around to the back side of the mountain which presents an easy slope up to the summit of Sourdough. Good views of Aurora Ridge, the Bailey Range, and the Sol Duc can be had. Leaving Sourdough Camp the trail descends a short series of switchbacks. The trail continues along the south side of the ridge and connects with the Aurora Creek trail. If the hiker does not want to brave the meadows and the primitive trail ahead, Aurora Creek offers a shortcut down to Hwy 101.
Continuing east the trail passes through more forest. The forest thins and the trail crosses several small meadows until it reaches the large meadow below Aurora Peak. At this point the trail disappears completely. The grade of the hillside is 76% and to add more of a challenge, the meadow is home to marmot colonies. The way across is riddled with marmot boroughs many of which are hidden by the tall vegetation. If you are traveling east to west the trail in the trees at the edge of the meadow is obscured by a blowdown. Tree limbs and other debris cover the trail making it difficult to see. Your best bet is to head for the location N48° 01.259' W123° 48.831' and look beyond any debris piles. Heading east, try to keep your elevation at about 4,300 feet and aim for N48° 01.341' W123° 48.605'. The break in the trees where the trail resumes is relatively easy to find. Half way across the meadow Mt Olympus appears in the distance to the south. Exiting the meadow the trail meanders in and out of the trees disappearing in the open areas and becoming more apparent in the shady places. At 15.5 miles the trail begins an ascent that ends at the crest of the ridge. It then follows the ridge on the north side for about .2 mile. One can see glimpses of Mt. Storm King through breaks in the trees. The trail then again crosses the crest and dumps the hiker into the bear grass meadow at N48° 01.035' W123° 45.908'. Stay high, close to the trees and continue east. The trail resumes at about N48° 01.035' W123° 45.856'. The trail pretty much stays in the forest from this point on. Leaving the bear grass meadow the trail follows the crest of the ridge for a short distance and one can finally glimpse a view of Lake Crescent in the distance. The trail eventually intersects the Aurora Divide Trail. Turn left a

hiking
Thursday, July 21, 2016

This route is fantastic, but there is no "trail" per se. It is not maintained by the NPS and is off-trail route described in several climbing guides. There are several sections of extremely loose, steep rock.

Load More