An Olympic National Park Must See
Trail Information located after pictures.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIKE HERE
The Elwha River should be the most known river in the nation, as it is home to the largest dam removal operation in the world. The Elwha River is also home to the second largest environmental restoration in US history, making this area one of the few places where the impact of man is being reversed on a grand scale. For nearly one hundred years, two dams devastated the local environment and all but killed the salmon run. Now, with the removal of the dams, the river is back to her natural path, and wildlife is flocking back.
While all Elwha Region Hikes start in the same basic area, the destinations of trails are just as diverse as the ecosystems which you can hike. While some might choose to hike up to Hurricane Ridge, others may attempt to see the Olympic National Park from the amazing Bailey Range. No matter what Elwha destination you choose, you are sure to experience amazing views, serene beauty and the joys that only hiking in this region can bring.
The easiest section to hike in the Elwha is the trail to the Dodger Point Bridge. Suspended nearly 100 feet about the surging greenish/blue Elwha River, the bridge offers stunning views upstream to a huge landslide and downstream to the magnificent Elwha River Valley. With awesome side-destinations ranging from the old Humes Ranch Cabin, to the jaw-dropping beauty of Goblin’s Gate, hiking the Elwha to the Dodger Point Bridge is something you nee to experience this weekend.
While the trek will take you 7 miles, round trip, the elevation gain is minimal and the trail is extremely well-groomed and easy to follow. This trail can and should be hiked by explorers of all ages and hiking abilities. Timeless forests, impressive river views and historical cabins all make the walk to the bridge a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and fully appreciate the Olympic National Park.
The trail to the bridge weaves through a well-groomed trail, past homestead areas and through ridiculously magical forests. While the forests of the Elwha aren’t as grand in scale as the Hoh and Quinault regions, they are just as photogenic and visually pleasing. Once you reach the beautiful cable bridge, stand in the middle or along the banks of the Elwha River and take in the sheer power and scale. With a washout canyon area to the south and a fantastic river basin downstream to the north, the bridge is a perfect destination for a meal after a medium-day hike. On the return route, check out Goblin’s Gate.
The best route for the trail has you starting at Whiskey Bend, then working your way toward Goblin’s Gate. From here, follow the trail and signs upriver to the historical Humes Cabin, where you can have a snack and read up on the importance of this cabin for early trips to the region. From here, work your way down the hill and across a pretty meadow while still heading upstream. After a slight elevation gain, you will be walking along the river until you reach the bridge.
Distance: 7 Miles
Elevation Gain: 600 Feet
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