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black Skyline Ridge Trail

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Trail

20.3 mile 32.7 kilometer point to point
74% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 6,267' 1,910 m
Descent: -5,914' -1,802 m
High: 5,296' 1,614 m
Low: 3,134' 955 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 59% (31°)

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Trail shared by Doug Scott

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A rugged trail that takes runners into the true backcountry of the park.

Doug Scott

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

The Skyline Trail is usually snow covered through late July or early August.

All food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in bear canisters due to lack of good trees for hanging food. If you are planning on camping along the way, a wilderness permit is required. More information on obtaining a permit can be found on the park's website.

Description

This trail will be rugged, as it's rarely travelled, and will get you out into the true wild of Olympic National Park. Access to this trail is a bit tricky, as you'll need to begin either from the Three Lakes Campsite (reached by the Big Creek Trail) or the Low Divide Ranger Station (accessed by the Elwha River Trail). Both starting points will give runners a similar feel.

The trail itself is quite strenuous, due to its length and the terrain that it crosses. You'll be ascending and descending high ridgelines, and you can expect to gain and lose significant elevation as you travel. Taking the trail from the southern end to the north provides just a hare more climbing than descending.

All of the strenuous travel is well worth your while, however. The deep, remote feel of the Olympics is unparalleled, and it's unlikely that you'll see many other visitors on your way. Take your time to appreciate the expansive views offered from the highest points of the trail. As with many trails in the Olympics, the dense forest will obstruct sight lines in most of the lower places, but you'll make your way out of the trees in a few places, especially around Kimta Lake. Take advantage of these breaks to take photos, or just appreciate the wilderness around you.

The best season for running the trail is late July through early October.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#6939

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
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Rankings

#348

in Washington

#6,939

Overall
38 Views Last Month
2,160 Since Jun 9, 2015
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