Past Meetup

Lower South Fork Skokomish Trail #873

This Meetup is past

4 people went


Time-frame for the day: 8:00AM-4:30PM

Meet at 512 P&R: 8:00 | Depart 512 P&R: 8:15 | Gig Harbor stop: 8:35/8:40

ETA at TH: 10:15

RT Mileage: 4-5 Strain Level: Easy-Moderate Trail ID: #873 Elevation Gain: 575' Highest Point: 850'

Pass Required? Yes-Northwest Forest Pass

Driving route: Hwys 16-302-3-106 to 101 (via Purdy cut-off)

Current forecast (Hoodsport): High of 59. 70% chance of rain.

Please bring:

..water, energy snacks/lunch, sturdy/comfortable footwear + bag for wet/soiled pair(s), day-hike essentials, trekking poles, clothing in layers (and according to the forecast), your camera and your warm smile.

WTA's take on the trail:

Big trees, a big river, and a big chance of seeing some big elk if you venture far enough up this well-built and well-maintained trail. You won't be alone on this popular path; mountain bikers and equestrians like it too. But if you saunter during the week or in the quiet months of the year, only the roar of the river will interrupt the silence.

The South Fork Skokomish River Trail No. 873 immediately gets down to business, making a steep little climb of about 300 feet (we will start at the LeBar Horse Camp TH and avoid this climb). Rounding a high bluff above the roaring river below, the trail enters a magnificent old-growth grove of Doug-firs, some over five hundred years old. In 0.4 mile and nearing the crest of the bluff, a spur trail heads right to the Le Bar Creek Horse Camp. Stay on the path left to a series of short, steep switchbacks, dropping back to the valley floor. After hopping across a side creek (at 1 mile) you'll traverse a beautiful glade of mossy maples and alders.

More old fir giants are soon encountered, as well as a few stumps of cedar giants that were sent to the mills many years ago. At 2 miles pass a campsite, site of an old ranger guardhouse. A half mile farther you may get your feet wet crossing a side creek in a large outwash. The next creek crossing (at 3 miles), however, comes with a nice bridge.

Venturing slightly away from the river you'll pass some old slides and then drop back again toward the roaring waterway and more old growth. Encounter several more creek crossings, a nice cascade, and then at 4.3 miles come to a junction. The trailright leads to FR 2355-100. The short spur left leads to the former site of Camp Comfort. Floods in December of 2007 washed away much of the open river bank here. Contemplate the forces of nature while you assess the damage to this favorite spot of many a day tripper and over-nighter alike.

If you have any energy left, continue along the trail for another 0.75 mile to an incredible overlook of the river on a bluff high above a big bend.

Driving Directions: (WTA)

From Shelton travel north on US 101 for 7 miles, turning left (west) at milepost 340 onto Skokomish Valley Road (signed "Skokomish Recreation Area"). Follow this good paved road for 5.5 miles, bearing right at a V intersection onto Forest Road 23. In 1 mile the pavement ends; in another 1.5 miles it resumes; and in another mile enter Olympic National Forest. Continue for 6 miles on FR 23 to a signed junction and turn right onto FR 2353. In 0.5 mile cross the South Fork Skokomish River, coming to a four-way intersection. Turn left, continuing on FR 2353 for 0.3 mile to the trailhead. Privy available. (our starting point will be 1/2 mile further up the road at the LeBar Horse Camp TH)

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Directions: (USFS)

From US Highway 101:
Turn west onto the Skokomish Valley Road (6 miles north of Shelton and 7 miles south of Hoodsport).
Drive 5.3 miles, then turn right onto FS #23 and drive 9.0 miles to FS Road #2353.
Turn right onto FS #2353 and drive 3/4 mile.
After crossing the river, turn left and drive 0.2 mile to the hiker and biker access trailhead. Continue 0.4 mile to the stock access trailhead.

MIKE'S CELL|253-985-1992

(call or text)


{no-shows will NOT be tolerated! Please be sure to change your RSVP if you cannot make it! Call if you are going to be late. If you are going to be over 5 minutes late, you must plan to meet us at the TH}