NAME: Pony Bridge
LOCATION: Lake Quinault Area
DISTANCE: 5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: Less than 1000ft
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year Round
PERMIT NEEDED: National Park Pass
Pony Bridge is that perfect hike when you want to get away from it all. See waterfalls, old growth forests, deer, elk, eagles and maybe even a bear in the Lake Quinault area. This under-rated, under-used section of the Olympic national park is a local favorite. The area is so under developed that since it’s initial mapping in 1890, the trees and forests look pretty much the same.
The hike goes along a well maintained trail that, for the first mile and a half, used to be a road. Long since overgrown, the trail now meanders through meadows and dense forests full of cedar and ferns. The condition of the trail is usually pretty nice, though an occasional downed tree might be on the trail, forcing you to find a way around. Streams of runoff cascade down the rainforest covered hillsides, make this hike scenically gorgeous. The path continues to Pony Bridge, which is a picturesque wooden bridge over the South Fork of the Quinault River. Sit here, eat some lunch and explore up and down the gorge if you feel like an adventure. A great place for a picture is located down what looks like an animal trail to the right side after you cross the bridge.
This hike is gorgeous year round and can be done with kids. However, being a trail in a National Park, dogs are not allowed. I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking for a hike in the rainforest that isn’t along the Hoh. The Quinault offers an amazing drive, a great hike and a new favorite spot to go hiking in any season.
WANT A LITTLE MORE?
- Drive the Lake Quinault Loop (Pictured Above)
- Dinner and Sunset at Ruby Beach
- Merriman Falls
- Worlds Largest Sitka Spruce (Near Lake Quinault Lodge)
- Watch for Eagles along the Quinault River
- Hike in Old Growth
- See a Remote Gorge
- Elk and Bear Sightings
- Waterfalls Along Road
- Cross a Wooden Bridge
- Not a loop
- Dirt Road from Lake Quinault to trail head
- Short Hike
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