Total Ascent: 800ft (500ft in; 300ft out)
Highest Point: 900ft
Total Distance: 8.5 miles
Location: N 47° 26.5800, W 123° 23.4480
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Recently, we had a chance to return to the Olympic Peninsula to check out a popular hike that promised moderate elevation gain, old growth forests and the company of a river. The Lower South Fork Skokomish River Trail #873 managed to provide all this and more.
This popular hike has some of the best of the Olympics flora and fauna and is well worth a visit. Not surprisingly, the trail attracts hikers year-round as well as mountain bikers and equestrians, so expect a little company. The hike is approachable for hikers of every skill level, and while the initial 300ft hurdle might be a challenging for some youngsters, most of the route is a decent trek for kids. When we visited, large winter blowdowns made the hike a little more difficult, but we anticipate much of this will be cleared as summer gets into full swing.
There's a lot more to the Lower Skokomish River Trail, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington. You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!
To get there, take I-5 south to Olympia to Exit 104 toward Aberdeen and Port Angeles. Follow US 101 along Hood Canal just over 27 miles through Shelton to Skokomish Valley Road. Take a left and follow the road five and a half miles to Forest Service Road #23. Head right and continue a little over nine miles to Forest Service Road #2353. Turn right and cross over the South Fork Skokomish River in less than a mile. Turn left at the four-way intersection and find the trailhead within a few tenths of a mile. –Nathan
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