If you are going to run this, watch for loose rocks, downfall, and roots.
Starting at the Duckabush River, the trail to O'Neil Pass is another hidden gem in the wilderness of the Olympics. While the trail technically could start at the Enchanted Valley Route
and West Fork Dosewallips River Trail
, most approach this from the south and work their way north. Taken that way, visitors can join the LaCrosse Basin Way Trail
which leads to some of the most secluded locations in Olympic National Park.
Gaining two thousand feet of elevation in roughly three miles, the first section of the trail gets you out of the dense forests of the Duckabush and up to the beautifully remote Marmot Lake. From here, the trail splits, with the right route leading to the isolated and primitive LaCrosse Lake and the left following the remainder of the O'Neil Pass Trail. Sticking to the main trail, the path skirts along the side of a ridge, giving a few great views of the Quinault River Valley below.
From O'Neil Pass to the Quinault, Dosewallips junction, the trail is 7.4 miles and descends just 500 feet, making it much more gentle than the way up. In this section, watch for black bears and deer, as they are both frequently seen.
Huge trees of numerous species are visible on this trail, as are amazing fall colors in the higher elevations. In early summer, this is a great little area for wildflowers. Watch out for bear, mountain goats, marmots, deer and elk.