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black Six Ridge Trail

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10.1 mile 16.3 kilometer point to point
68% Runnable


Ascent: 4,546' 1,386 m
Descent: -2,270' -692 m
High: 4,639' 1,414 m
Low: 1,482' 452 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 53% (28°)


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Trail shared by Doug Scott

Wild, unmaintained and remote, this trail is the definition of "primitive" in Olympic National Park.

Doug Scott

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

It will be next to impossible to route find and navigate this trail during the winter months.

Runner Notes

This route would make a good trail running destination if the trail is easy to follow. Watch for downfall, loss of trail markings, late season snow, roots, and rocks.


Connecting the South Fork with the North Fork of the Skokomish River, the Six Ridge Trail is an unmanaged, wilderness masterpiece that is a challenge for any day visitor, and a destination for experienced route finders. The trail is said to be routinely maintained, but it is remote enough that a work crew each year can't keep up with the demands of the trail. That being said, the path is mostly straight forward and makes for an enjoyable run.

Starting along the North Fork Skokomish River Trail, the trail quickly rises in elevation as you work your way up the ridge for over 50 switchbacks. While these might be discouraging, keep in mind that you are headed into pristine wilderness and one of the lesser visited regions of Olympic National Park. Once you have completed the steep switchbacks, the trail becomes more manageable from an elevation standpoint. It can still be tough to navigate, and assume you'll have to take some time to verify that you are on the trail every so often.

Less than a mile past the Belview Campground, the trail leaves the forest and crosses through some high alpine meadows before darting in and out of the woods again. Views are decent, the air is fresh, and the trail is pretty enough to encourage the trek onward.

Before long, you start descending toward the junction to Sundown Lake Trail. Once you reach the junction, the realization of the trail you just traversed becomes more impressive, as well groomed trails look like a freeway compared to the route you just took.

The Six Ridge Trail is awe inspiring, remote, and gorgeous and is ideal for those looking for solitude after exploring the Staircase Rapids region of Olympic.

Flora & Fauna

In the spring and summer, the high alpine meadows erupt in wildflowers and beargrass, while the occasional elk, deer, and black bear roam the hills above and below.


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