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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.50 mi (0.80 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Just outside of the Olympic National Park boundary in the Quinault National Forest lies a short, 0.5-mile interpretive loop trail that is a great introduction to the unique old-growth temperate rainforest ecosystem that dominates the Olympic Peninsula and flourishes on the southern shore of Lake Quinault.

A part of the Quinault National Recreation Trail System, the Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop winds along pristine creek beds, through moss and fern ground cover, and between giant old-growth trees that have been standing for centuries. Sturdy interpretive signs with informative illustrations are scattered throughout this short trail, and these are some of the most comprehensive anywhere on the peninsula. Here, you'll learn to tell the difference between Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western hemlock and western red cedar, why it rains so much, and why the ecology of the forest is so important.

After completing the trail, continue your exploration of the forest on the Cedar Loop or Gatton Creek Falls Loop to see countless waterfalls, marshy groves of western red cedar and some of the largest Douglas firs anywhere.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Pristine old-growth Northwest forest. Informative interpretive trail.

Cons

Commonly very muddy trail.

Trailhead Elevation

200.00 ft (60.96 m)

Net Elevation Gain

100.00 ft (30.48 m)

Address

S Shore Rd
201
Quinault, WA 98575
United States

Features

Old-growth forest

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

06/11/2017
Enjoyed exquisite lighting and atmospheric conditions for so many of the unique places I photographed on the Olympic Peninsula. One of my favorites was at Willaby Falls, not exactly a calf-burner of a hike to access but .....to get yourself into position to properly photograph the scene with a tripod, backpack and 36 lbs of equipment from THIS exact spot was a b!%(#... I'm a firm believer in "Leave NO Trace" other than occasional footprints. I somehow managed not to slide off the steep wet slope into Willaby Creek. There is an "easy" straight on view of the lower portion of cascades that most seem to settle for not wishing to risk injury or an impromptu cold bath! The extra 50' or so of goat path a few feet above the creek was worth the view.
05/14/2017
Nice easy hike featuring creeks, small waterfalls, moss, old growth and all the other green things you'd expect from from the Olympic Peninsula.
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