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Pre Thanksgiving Hike -Upper or Lower Dungeness River - Olympic Peninsula

Yak Trax or Microspikes Manditory on this hike.  Please make sure you bring a pair along with you.  Winter has started in the mountains and can make for slippery conditions.

Let's leave the mainland before the Thanksgiving Holiday to get in a little exercise.  The weather in this area can be much drier than what is happening in Seattle area.

Weather, trail and road conditions can change daily this time of year so always check this site the morning of the event for any last minute changes or cancellations.

Please check in to see which hike - Upper may be inaccessible due to snow (although not all the time), Lower should be accessible. Expect to hike 6-8 miles RT and under 1000 feet of elevation gain - depending on conditions.

dogs allowed on leash

No pass required at Lower trail (doesn't say if one is required at Upper Trail _probably NW forest pass would be good to bring).


The Upper Dungeness Trail

 A delightful hike through ancient timber along the crystal-clear Dungeness River-save this one for a hot or rainy day. Quite possibly the easiest 3.4 miles of wilderness trail in the Olympics, the Upper Dungeness is ideal for introducing neophytes and youngsters to the backcountry. Handy dandy Camp Handy with its restored shelter provides cover on overcast days, allowing you to enjoy your lunch while droplets run down the cedar shingles.

The Lower Dungeness Trail

 travels through mostly conifer forests along the steep slopes of the Dungeness. You'll start very close to the rive rwith views of the lush valley floor but soon the trail starts to ascend to the steep valley walls. 

This trail has a fair bit of elevation gain in the first half of the trail and passes through various stands of cedar, douglas fir and alder. You'll occasionally be offered views of the other side of the Dungeness Valley and even the snowy caps far up to the river headwaters.

The halfway point, you can't miss 3 o'clock ridge. It makes a good spot to stop for a snack and you'll enjoy views of the valley bottom, Dirty Face Ridge and Mt Townsend.

Driving Directions:

From US 101, take Palo Alto Road for about 7 miles to FR 2880. Turn right on FR 2880 and follow for 1.7 miles; it will descend and cross the Dungeness River then climb up on the other side. Turn left onto FR 2870 and follow for 2.6 miles, you'll then reach a fork in the road with a sign that indicates that FR2870 is to the right. Go left here and you'll descend to a parking lot near the river. Note: FR 2850 (leading to the trailhead from the FR 28 on east side of the river) has been decommissioned.


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  • Kathy L.

    I love it when we have the trail all to ourselves. Gorgeous November day and a lovely trail to hike. I don't think I would have come all the way over here to hike by myself so thanks for coming along Gretchen and Pauline so that I would do it.

    November 25, 2013

  • Gretchen

    Beautiful trail and the weather could not have been better!

    November 25, 2013

  • Donna

    I just found out I have to leave for Asia next week, and need to prepare for my trip! Sorry I will miss the next two, but will hopefully see you all after Thanksgiving some time. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

    November 23, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    Meet at the Edmonds PCC (actually park nearer the newer Walgreen construction closest to the road-this will keep us out of the main usage lot) by 6:45. Pauline and Gretchen are riding with me. Donna and Kristy do you want to ride together.
    If it is anything like today it should be glorious. Very cold to start so dress in layers. We won't do the full 12 RT hike but plan to get to 3oclock ridge which would make it about a 6 mile rt hike. At least hike 2 hrs out before turning back anyways. That should get us back to ferry between 4 and 5.
    Bring lunch water and snacks and gloves and hats and your yak trax.
    Ground was very frosty for me today but not icy.

    November 23, 2013

  • Vanessa

    Encountered a problem for tomorrow. See you next week and have a great river hike.

    November 23, 2013

  • Vanessa

    Planning on driving around the south end.

    November 23, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    Will probably be doing the lower Dungeness river hike. The ferry leave Edmonds at 7:10 so if you want to caravan down or arrange a carpool will meet and park nearby around 6:45 (possibly Edmonds PCC - but will let you know for sure by Saturday). Those not taking the ferry, I am hoping to be at the trailhead between 9:30 and 10am.

    November 20, 2013

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