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Quinault Rain Forest {+Shore Trail}

Estimated time-frame for this event: 7AM-5PM (later if dining out)

Meetup time at the P&R: 7:00AM

Time we'll depart the P&R: 7:15AM

ETA at Quinault RF: 9:45AM

{This is a RAIN OR SHINE event!}

RT Mileage: 4-6 Elevation Gain: 300'+/- Highest Point: 450' Trail: #845 Pass Required: NW Forest Pass

Current Forecast {Quinault}: 60% chance of rain. High of 45.

Some links:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_053559.pdf

http://rainforestgetaways.com/html/quinault_trail_map.html

{if more than 12 participants, we will split up into 2 groups}

Quinault National Recreation Trail System Vicinity Map

{A description from WTA:}

The Quinault National Recreation Trail system offers a melange of hiking options to choose from. With nearly 10 miles of well-maintained interconnecting trails, your choices are as varied as spring wildflowers on these popular paths. Trails lead from campgrounds and a historic lodge to waterfalls, cedar bogs, monster trees, and along crystal-clear creeks and a scenic lakeshore. Spend a half day or half a week exploring this delightful area. The Rainforest Lake Loop is one suggestion. Feel free to expand, contract, or combine it with other trails.

Step into the Quinault Rain Forest and immediately be propelled into a world of primeval beauty. Start your journey under a canopy of towering, emerald giants: ancient Sitka spruce, western red cedar, and western hemlocks.

The Quinault Valley left a deep impression on president Franklin D. Roosevelt when he visited here in 1937. It inspired him to protect a good chunk of the adjacent lands within a new national park. The Quinault rain forest, however, has remained within the national forest. But it's managed for recreation and wildlife, not timber production.

From the trailhead the well-groomed path passes a colossal Doug-fir to emerge on a high bank above Willaby Creek. Search the sparkling creek waters for salmon. Gaze up at the towering forest canopy for eagle nests. Then turn right and begin your journey into the past. At 0.25 mile is a junction; a short nature trail heads right, returning to the parking lot.

Continue on the main path, crossing Willaby Creek at about 0.5 mile. A half mile farther you'll reach another junction. The trail to your right travels 1.7 miles and climbs over 1000 feet to the Willaby Creek giant cedar.

The loop continues forward to a cedar bog bursting with pungent patches of skunk cabbage. Traverse this saturated landscape via a boardwalk and come to another junction at 1.8 miles. The trail to your left heads 0.6 mile to the Quinault Lodge; proceed right instead. Cross Falls Creek, and after 0.5 mile of gentle climbing, cross Cascade Creek at lovely Cascade Falls. Admire the tumbling waters and then carry on. At 2.4 miles turn left at a junction (the right trail goes to Gatton Creek). Span Falls Creek again, climb a little, and then drop back down to reach the South Shore Road at 2.8 miles.

Cross the road, stop to admire Falls Creek Falls, skirt a campground, and then come to Lake Quinault, one of the largest bodies of water on the Olympic Peninsula. Close the loop by following the lakeshore for 1 mile, passing quiet coves, humble cabins, and the majestic 1926 Lake Quinault Lodge. In times of heavy rainfall, this section of trail is prone to inundation. If that's the case, return via the South Shore Road, or head up the Lodge Trail and retrace some of your route. The forest may be ancient, but this hike never gets old.

Driving Directions:

From Hoquiam travel north on US 101 for 35 miles. Turn right (east) onto the South Shore Road, located 1 mile south of Amanda Park. Proceed on this road for 1.3 miles to a large parking area signed "Rainforest Nature Trail Loop" (or park by the lodge near the Quinault Ranger Station just east of the lodge). Water and restrooms available.

Please Bring:

Water, energy snacks/lunch, day-hike essentials, wet weather gear/clothing according to the forecast, sturdy/comfortable footwear + bag for wet/soiled pairs, camera. Trekking/walking poles may be helpful for some. Also, if you are a passenger, make sure you give your driver $15 for fuel.

{Drivers must have a Northwest Forest Pass}

$$ for refreshments/beverages at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge post-hike!


Mike's cell|[masked]

(call or text)

Available Drivers for Quinault RF Event:

Chuck - can take 4 (6 max) passengers (1 space taken)

Lorri - can take (1) more passenger (2 spaces taken)

Mike - can take 3 passengers


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  • Mike T.

    GREAT photos everyone! Thanks for posting! :-)

    February 18, 2013

  • Cristi

    Zowee(!)...What a wonderful day hiking in the beautiful Rain Forest, meeting new members & yakking with old friends! Many fellow photo bugs hikers....loved it!
    I enjoyed laughing & eating dinner with the group before we parted way's.
    Thank you Mike for making this special day happen!!

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    That was so fun!

    February 17, 2013

  • Lisa H.

    I really enjoyed meeting everyone. The hike was great fun and I'm looking forward to more adventures with this group.

    February 17, 2013

    • Maryjane

      Ape Cave Saturday..

      February 17, 2013

    • Lisa H.

      It's on my calendar. See you there.

      February 17, 2013

  • Moira

    Wonderful People, great hike = good times :)

    February 17, 2013

  • Mirek

    Great hike, well organized and a fun group! We had a blast!

    February 17, 2013

  • Mike T.

    The Quinault never ceases to amaze me! Hail, a random branch falling and a complete rainbow on the lake made for some excitement! Enjoyed some waterfalls and big trees. Dinner at the Rainforest Salmon Restaurant was the icing on the cake. Thank you drivers: Mirek/Moira, Chuck, Linda!

    February 16, 2013

  • David T.

    Great. Met new hikers, went to a variety of places

    February 16, 2013

  • Renee M

    An emergency has come up at work so I won't be able to come. Have fun everyone!

    February 16, 2013

  • Cristi

    =) If I can snag a ride....I would be grateful!

    February 15, 2013

    • Mike T.

      When you meet us at the 512, we'll make sure you are a passenger in someone's vehicle :)

      February 15, 2013

  • Mike T.

    1 more willing driver requested that can hold 3-4 people. Thanks!

    February 15, 2013

  • Jen

    I everyone. This will be my first meetup with Trailside and I'm looking forward to it. How does the carpool set up work? Do we meet at the P&R and decide from there or is this figured out ahead of time? I can drive or be a passenger. I have a forest pass but not a good to go. I could bring my eurovan which will fit 3-4 more people (plus a weird backwards facing seat).

    I'm coming from Tacoma.

    February 11, 2013

    • Mike T.

      Sometimes it is figured out ahead of time, especially if there are multiple participants coming from the same location elsewhere, and coming to the planned meetup location. Otherwise, I usually ask for willing drivers ahead of time. Many people post right on here requesting rides or offering to drive, as many postings currently reflect this, and i'm really thankful for that :) Looking forward to seeing you! You won't need a Good To Go for this trip as we're taking Olympia to Aberdeen and up to Quinault, then returning on the same route.

      February 12, 2013

    • Jen

      Thank you! I'm grabbing a ride with Lorri.

      February 15, 2013

  • Rose

    Duty Calls ! Sadly, I'm getting called into work...
    Have a Blast !!!!!

    February 14, 2013

    • Mike T.

      See you on the next hike :)

      February 14, 2013

  • Jen

    I have an unused daily pass someone can use.

    February 11, 2013

  • Chuck M.

    Here is a WTA article which tells you how to obtain the various passes. Basically, you can buy a Northwest Forest Pass online, at a Forest Service ranger station, or at some retailers, such as REI. See the article for details. The URL is http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/passes

    February 11, 2013

17 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Quinault Rain Forest {+Shore Trail}

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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