With 1000 miles of trails on our peninsula, there are countless trips possible. While I’ve not covered all of the trails, I had the privilege to see some incredible places. So here are a few of my favorites on the Olympic Peninsula, from East to West. - Ross Hamilton
It’s a 20 mile hike in from the trailhead on the Duckabush, but the region is spectacular.
It is a 2 day hike in from the Dosewallips trailhead, but again it has much to offer. From the base camp one can explore Lost Pass, Haden Pass, and Thousand Acre Meadow. A variation in route is to approach the Dosewallips via Graywolf Pass. It is a magnificent view from this pass. Follow the Greywolf trail to the Pass and drop into the Dosewallips Valley a few miles from the Meadows.
Home Lake and Constance Pass
This beautiful area is a 2 day trip to get in via the Dungeness but is worth the effort. Home Lake is part of the headwaters for the Dungeness River. From the pass grand views can be had of Mount Constance and The Brothers.
This grand valley has 5 basins in stair- step fashion. Each is different and worth exploring. The Greywolf Needles make a grand backdrop for these basins. Broad meadows, lakes and waterfalls make up this special place. One day will get you in, but you’ll need at least one full day to explore.
It is a two day hike from the Quinault and a four day trip from the Elwha to get to this pass and it makes for an excellent base camp to explore Dodwell- Rixon Pass and Martins Park.
Dodwell puts you face to face with the southern face of Mount Olympus across the headwaters of the Queets River. Martins Park is a treasure hidden under the watchful eye of glacier clad
One of the premier hikes in the Olympics. This 20 mile loop trail takes the backpacker high on the ridge between the Solduc and Hoh Valleys and brings you to beautiful 7 Lake Basin and unobstructed views of Mount Olympus. I have spent several trips exploring this area. It is also the access to the cross country route to the backside of the Bailey Range (the range as seen from Hurricane Ridge)
Click to read "A Guide to Hiking the Olympic Peninsula - by Ross and Kathy Hamilton"
This 13 mile trip up the Quinault brings you to a valley with sheer cliffs and waterfalls. O'Neal Pass to to Anderson Pass. This trail travels high on the side of the Quinault Valley and offers some of most spectacular mountain scenery in the Olympics. It can be accessed from either the Quinault, the Dosewallips or the Duckabush. If you are in the area, don’t miss it.
The wilderness coast is well expressed on the way from Third Beach near La Push to Toleak Point 8 miles south. Tides must be watched and are best done on a low tide. The sand is firmer to walk on and the beach is wider A short distance beyond is the Goodman Creek Estuary. This is a narrow finger of the sea that come inland a good distance and reaches the base of Falls Creek falls at high tide. If you can find it, the Goodman Creek trail offers a short cut to this beautiful coastline
Cick to watch Ross Hamilton speak about his time working at Ansel Adams Studio in Yosemite