North Fork Quinault River


Backpack - North Fork Quinault River & Skyline Trail Loop

Intermediate Backpack: A rugged, beautiful, less-often visited corner of Olympic National park. This will be about 45 miles of rough terrain with about 8-10,000 feet of elevation gain over the 4 days. This itinerary will allow for side visit to the beautiful Martin Park & Lakes.

  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 48.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 15,000 ft

This is an Intermediate Backpack that will be a 4 day loop route in Olympic National Park.

More information can be found here:

We can update this plan as we go along. We will be starting and ending at the North Fork Quinault River Trailhead, which will require a national park parking pass or entrance fee. This is a drive or ferry ride away from the Seattle area, so consider going the night before and sleeping at the trailhead or reserving a spot at North Fork Campground.

This is a challenging intermediate backpack, with long stretches of off-trail or primitive-trail travel. Fording river crossings, exposure on terrain with narrow trail, and very minor scrambling up to Martin's Park via primitive trail and Lake Beauty are also potential hazards (described as using hands at times to ascend roots or rocks).

Preference for registration will be given to Intermediate Backpacking Course members, specifically those who approached me at the planning night. Non-members must provide email with backpacking experience and comfort level when registering.

I will also be requesting reimbursement from each member for the individual price of 4 nights of permits from the park.

Itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: North Fork Quinault River trailhead to Low Divide Camp: 15.8 miles

Day 2: Low Divide Camp-side trip to Martin's Park & Lakes without heavy packs-Lake Beauty: 12.1 miles

Day 3: Lake Beauty to Three Prune Camp: 9.8 miles

Day 4: Three Prune Camp to North Fork Quinault River trailhead ending in a road walk: 12 miles


North Fork Quinault River

  • Green Trails Mt Christie No. 166

    Custom Correct Quinault-Colonel Bob

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park

    USGS Bunch Lake

    USGS Mount Hoquiam

    USGS Mount Christie

    USGS Kimta Peak
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp-consider sharing tent with another participant
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter or other treatment option
  • Bear canister required, as sites with bear wires are limited
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
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