West Elwha Trail – 4.6mi / 7.4km
Follow the Elwha River downstream through a forest of massive trees. The trail begins at the Altair Picnic Area along the shores of the Elwha River.
The trail briefly follows the river with views across the valley before climbing up through the forest. After a steep ascent, the trail descends as you pass lush vegetation, ferns, and wonderful old growth forest.
After a bit of cruising along the valley bottom and crossing over Hughes Creek on a small bridge, you come alongside a bend in the Elwha River. Keep an eye out for salmon in the deep pool below during various migration seasons, before you continue on in the forest. The ford of Freeman Creek is a great place to turn around.
Trailhead: Turn onto the Olympic Hot Springs Road from Hwy 101, 9 miles west of Port Angeles. Follow the road 4.5 miles to the Altair Picnic Area. The trail begins at the north end.
Elevation Gain: 600ft / 180m – Elevation Loss: 600ft / 180m