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Overnight Backpack - North Fork Skokomish River

USGS cartographer marking along Skokomish River Trail

  • Rating: Easy to moderate
  • Route: Drive from Olympia, North, to Staircase Trailhead - West of Hoodsport. About 50 miles and a 90-minute drive.
  • Carpool: Rendezvous at 10:30 AM - Westside Olympia Food Coop • 921 North Rogers • Olympia, WA. We will carpool from the Coop to the trailhead at Staircase Ranger Station, Olympic National Park. We leave on time and do not wait. Please bring $$$ to reimburse drivers. $15 per vehicle entrance fee or annual Park Pass required.
  • Backcountry Permit required (participants responsible for acquiring individual permit)
  • No dogs allowed in National Park
  • Disclaimer: We will be in the wilderness. Serious injury or death can occur. We are not professional guides nor do we claim to be experts.  It is not our responsibility to get you to the listed destination.  We hike at our own pace.  By attending this hike you are assuming responsibility for your own personal safety and we will not be held responsible.


Trek Description

This is an easy trail with little elevation gain as it glides alongside the North Fork Skokomish River for much of its length. It's early season so there could be some patchy snow and downed trees. I doubt if the trail crew been through this area yet.


I plan to hike all the way to Nine Stream Camp. However, I don't want to camp on snow and will choose a lower campsite if it appears there is solid snow cover above 1500 feet.


Meetup participants are self-contained you can select among several campsites along the river depending on how ambitious you are. You can hike in as far as you like and hike out the next day. There are four main camps along the river. Just double the mileage (in and back out) for whatever campsite you choose. If you hike all the way to Nine Stream it's 20 miles round-trip. All main campsites have a pit toilet and bear wire.


Elevation at the trailhead is 800 Feet. Spike Camp is NOT recommended. The other three campsites are excellent and perched right along the river. I plan to be out and back at the trailhead no later than 2 PM on Sunday so back to Olympia by 4 PM or earlier. Guests are not allowed - you must be a member to join us.

Main Campsites

• Spike Camp (3.7m 1475')

• Big Log Camp (5.5m 1500')

• Camp Pleasant (7.1m 1600')

• 9 Stream Camp (10m 2000')



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  • Mac

    Jon's photo (above) of the tree with "USGS 1870 TBM" painted on it refers to, I believe, a topographic bench mark with elevation 1870 feet. This bench mark is shown on the 1934 USGS topo map. So I'd guess that sign was painted in the very early 1930's.

    May 6, 2013

  • Mac

    Another fun trip. Great company. Fantastic weather. Camped on bare dry ground amid the partly snow covered campsite area of Nine Stream (about 2000 ft elev). Lots of blow-down across the trail, but none required much of a detour. Saw a couple bear. Refreshing to spend the weekend in the woods. Thanks Jon!

    May 6, 2013

  • Jon E

    Mac - I figured out how to add you in so you can post comments & photos now.

    May 6, 2013

  • Daniel P.

    The company was excellent and the weather superb. Thank you Jon. It is so refreshing to be in the woods.

    May 5, 2013

  • Lucia H.

    great hike, great company !
    thank you Jon :)

    May 5, 2013

  • Lucia H.


    May 3, 2013

  • Jon E

    We have a late addition so Mac will also be joining us tomorrow. Welcome everyone. Weather looks to be excellent - no Gore-Tex required!!

    May 3, 2013

  • Lucia H.

    Looking forward to the sunshine and the woods :)

    May 3, 2013

  • von v.

    too early for me. Love staircase though. have fun.

    April 30, 2013

4 went

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