Griff Creek Trail – 5.8mi / 9.4km
This unforgiving trail climbs up above the Elwha Ranger Station to some unique vantages of area. From the meadows with historic buildings, you dive into the dark forest of ferns and large trees. Griff Creek chatters, out of view, as you begin on a moderate grade.
The trail begins aggressively switchbacking up through the trees with a few views looking up the Griff Creek drainage. Your first great vantage is at the spur trail for the signed Rock View Point, where you’ll have exceptional views of the Elwha River Valley.
You’ll continue climbing up the ridge on cooler, north facing sections with contrasting hotter, south facing sections with views. Before you come to the end of the trail, you’ve got a very steep switchback section on the north facing slope before crossing over the last time to a nice vantage looking south. A sign lets you know you’ve reached the end of the trail where you can admire Unicorn Peak and Hurricane Hill from a rocky perch of pillow basalt.
Trailhead: Turn onto the Olympic Hot Springs Road from Hwy 101, 9 miles west of Port Angeles. Drive 4 miles to the Elwha Ranger Station. The trail begins behind the ranger station.
Elevation Gain: 2,900ft / 870m – Elevation Loss: 2,900ft / 870m