Flapjack Lakes – 15.5mi / 24.9km
A sweet pair of emerald lakes, backdropped by the jagged Sawtooth Ridge, are a perfect reward for the strenuous effort to get to them. The hike begins on a mellow trail through a lush forests with numerous, chattering creek crossings. You’ll come alongside the North Fork Skokomish River a few times, sometimes high above and others along slower moving sections.
The signed trail breaks off after 3.5mi/5.7km and leaves the wide, easy path for a narrower, steep climb. You’ll cross over Madeline Creek as it beautifully crashes through a narrow gorge before turning up into the Donohue Creek drainage. The trail once again gets steep and eventually comes alongside the creek which delightfully cascades over rocks. Stay straight, passing the junction to Black and White Lakes, for more switchbacks up to Flapjack Lakes.
A land bridge divides the two lakes with trails giving you ample access to either of the gorgeous lakes. If you have the energy, consider following the trail up 1,100ft/330m to Gladys Divide for exquisite views. A punishing loop can be done by visiting Black and White Lakes on the way back, then taking the extremely steep trail that drops 2,500ft/750m in 1.9mi/3km to the valley below.
Trailhead: From Hoodsport, take Hwy 119 towards Cushman-Staircase Recreation Area. Follow the signs all the way to the ranger station in the national park. Parking and the trailhead are behind the ranger station.
Elevation Gain: 3,400ft / 1,020m – Elevation Loss: 3,400ft / 1,020m