Like any park, there are trails that can get quite crowded, and with the popularity of Olympic, summer days can get quite intense in places. The areas with the most traffic will the the most famous destinations, like Hurricane Hill, Rialto Beach, the Hoh Rainforest, Staircase Loop and a few others. Those trails make up only about 75 of the 611 miles of Olympic Park gorgeousness. The trails below will be crowded on the really crowded weeks of summer, so when summer gets closer, I’ll post some better secret spots to beat the summer madness. Until then, please enjoy five of our favorite places to hike for solitude. We are also putting together a list like this for beach destinations and coastal hikes, so those have been omitted from this post.
THE FIVE HIKES
The Trail to Elip Creek in Olympic National Park
North Fork of the Quinault- Elip Creek
When: Every month but July and August
Distance: 13.2 mostly flat miles roundtrip
Why: The Quinault is an amazing rainforest and often overlooked for the more glamorous and famous Hoh Rainforest. Situated south of the Hoh, the Quinault River flows through some of the most majestic and magical forests you will ever encounter. Home to salmon, eagles, bear, elk and rumored to be teeming with Sasquatch, the trail to Elip Creek on the North Fork of the Quinault River is magnificent. The North Fork, which leads to the Elwha, is less popular than the main section of the Quinault River, which leads to the Enchanted Valley and the Dosewallips River. It may not have the Enchanted Valley Chalet, but the North Fork has beauty, wonder and most importantly, isolation along a rainforest river.