“The perfect backpacking trail to traverse Olympic National Park.”
— Doug Scott
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Winter traversing of this trail will be extremely difficult for advanced backpackers.
This is an awesome trail run and an amazing ultra day into the wilderness of the Olympics. Roots, streams, and downfall may impede your pace, but the trail is visited enough in the summer months that it is usually clean and awesome.
With a few stunning river views, incredible forests, and side trips to glaciers and a bear-filled, Enchanted Valley
, the West Fork Dosewallips Trail is considered one of the classic backpacking destinations in Olympic National Park. For 10 miles, the trail climbs up and up, leading to a spur in the trail where backpackers have a chance to visit Anderson Glacier. Anderson Glacier, just a short jaunt from Anderson Pass, is quickly vanishing and will be gone in a matter of decades, making this destination a priority. This is the objective for many first-time backpackers and is an amazing gateway to the wilderness of Olympic National Park.
This trail is a bit misleading, as the river isn't visible for much of the way. However, the sounds of the river can be heard gurgling though the trees and meadows along this path. During the late spring and early summer, the trail erupts in wildflowers, including the rhododendron, Washington State's official flower. As elk roam the forests above and below the river, the trail heading west is well-maintained and gains elevation slowly. Crossing a few stunning bridges and passing by numerous backcountry campsites, this is an amazing trail to see the remote beauty of the Dosewallips River.
With three backcountry camping areas resting near the river, even the most leisurely of trekkers can explore and enjoy this trail. The bridge crossing after Diamond Meadows is stunning, and will revitalize and energize you to keep climbing to reach Anderson Pass. Seriously, this trail is incredible and should be experience by everyone who is interested in backpacking into the wilderness of Washington's favorite National Park.
Flora & Fauna
In the spring and early summer, bear grass, salal and rhododendrons erupt in a dazzling display of color and beauty. Elk and black bear can be seen along the trails during the majority of the year.