Share:

Sams River Loop Trail

Olympic National Park

Western Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Start Exploring
Sams River Loop Trail

Share:

Advertisement
  • View of Sams River from Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) covered in mosses on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria), a type of lichen, on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax) and red alder (Alnus rubra) on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) near the ranger station on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Queets Ranger Station (closed in winter) on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) covered in mosses on Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Queets River on the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophyllaand) on a "nurse" log on the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Queets River from the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Queets River from the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Old-growth western hemlock (Tsuga heterophyllaand) on the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) and stairstep moss (Hylocomium splendens) on the Sams River Loop Trail.- Sams River Loop Trail
  • - Sams River Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Secluded hike. Old-growth and second-growth forest.
Cons: 
Often extremely muddy and poorly marked trail.
Advertisement
Region:
Western Olympic Peninsula, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

On the west side of Olympic National Park, at the end of the Queets River Road, almost all traces of civilization stop and pure wilderness begins.

Here on the Sams River Loop Trail, hikers will get a chance to explore both worlds. This 3.0-mile flat loop meanders along the banks of both the Queets River and Sams River under a pristine old-growth* forest, but it also tracks through an area of the National Park that was once the site of an old homestead. Numerous meadows have been cleared by previous inhabitants and some past logging, and the meadows are now very popular among resident elk. In this second and third-growth forest the Queets Ranger Station commands its summer post.

You'll also notice the conspicuous absence of the noises of civilization. The Queets River Valley is perhaps one of the most remote portions of the park accessible by road. And herein lies the Sams River Loop Trail's finest quality: if you are visiting in the off season, you will most likely have the area all to yourself.

Note: The Queets Valley is notorious for black bear sightings, particularly in spring, so be sure to stay alert. Also, be sure to track and follow the trail closely, as it is not often traveled and can become extremely difficult to find in some of the meadows. A GPS or compass and map are highly recommended to ensure you get back to where you started.

*Just off the trail near Queets Campground stands the Queets Spruce, the world's largest of its species by volume. Overall, when height, volume and crown spread are taken into consideration the Quinault Giant Sitka Spruce is the largest.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
44 Members
Who's Done It
1 Members
Submission by
Team
1266 Adventures Explored
1264 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info