“Historic and beautiful, this trail weaves along a pristine rainforest wilderness towards Low Divide.”
— Doug Scott
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife
The trail is accessible most of the year to Elip Creek, but fording the creek may not be possible during rainy months.
A fantastic trail run, with the potential for downfall, fords, roots and rocks. The trail is accessible most of the year to Elip Creek, but fording the creek may not be possible during rainy months. The elevation gain isn't too intense, and ultra runners will enjoy the challenge to reach Low Divide. Make noise, as bears are frequently spotted on the trail.
The North Fork of the Quinault River is where you go if you want to re-create one of the first traverse trails of Olympic National Park. Following the route of the 1889-90 Press Expedition, the trail along the North Fork is one that grows more wild with each and every step. Working upstream, the trail is easy to follow and scenic. Numerous backcountry campsites exist along the path, making it a good backpacking trip for nearly all level of backpacker.
The first few miles to Elip Creek are extremely easy to follow and have frequent black bear sightings in the spring and fall months. At Elip Creek, you'll probably have to ford the creek, which can be extremely difficult in the spring and early summer months, or after heavy rain. Past the bridge, the trail gains more elevation, and the forests become even more impressive.
Views of mountains aren't very common along the trail. However, the North Fork of the Quinault River continues to grow more gorgeous each passing mile. Crossing numerous creeks and bridges, the trail becomes more remote and feels wild. Views are limited to ancient rainforest old growth and huge ferns until to you make the ascent up to Low Divide.
Flora & Fauna
Old growth firs and cedars home to elk, deer, black bear and more.