North Fork Skokomish River


Backpack - O'Neil Pass, Anderson Pass & LaCrosse Pass Loop

Take in the views above Enchanted Valley in the Olympics as we hike a strenuous 4-day, 57 mile "Lollipop Loop". Starting at the Staircase Rapids trailhead, we'll hike alongside the scenic North Fork Skokomish River and over O'Neil, Anderson, and LaCrosse passes. And we'll tackle First Divide twice. Total elevation gain of 20,300ft.

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  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 57.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 20,300 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,500 ft

Staircase Rapids Trailhead (

Saturday July 17th at 9am

Rain or shine

This is a challenging 4-day backpacking trip, with significant mileage and elevation gain every day.

Participants should be in excellent physical condition, and must be comfortable with varied trail conditions.  We will encounter blowdowns, river crossings, and sections potentially requiring microspikes.

Snowpack in the Olympics is 30% above normal this year, so there is a reasonable chance that the area will not be adequately melted out by our departure date.  In this situation, we have two options: (i) select an alternate itinerary offering similar mileage/gain, or (ii) delay the trip by 5 days, so that we start Thursday July 22nd and finish Sunday July 25th.

We'll be hiking at a decent pace (2 mph), with breaks for food and pictures.  Given the mileage that must be covered each day, however, we will keep an eye on the time and not be overly leisurely.

Given the challenging nature of this trip, leader's permission is required.  In your request, please detail recent trips you've taken that have prepared you for the mileage and gain of this trip.  I personally wouldn't do this trip unless I had already successfully completed multiple backpacking trips this season, with at least one of the trips being a 3+ day trip with each day averaging 12 miles / 3000' gain or more.  Since that's what I would expect of myself, that's the level of recent experience I'm expecting this trip's participants to have.


On day 1, we'll meet at the Staircase Rapids trailhead, hike along the North Fork Skokomish River, and over First Divide.  We'll spend the night at Upper Duckabush Camp.  14.5 miles, 5460' gain.  Gaia GPS route detailing day 1:

On day 2, we'll start clockwise around the "Lollipop", ascending both O'Neil and Anderson passes.  We'll spend the night at Honeymoon Meadows camp.  14.3 miles, 6250' gain.  Gaia GPS route detailing day 2:

On day 3, we'll continue clockwise around the "Lollipop", ascending LaCrosse pass and continuing past Upper Duckabush Camp (where we spent night 1).  We'll spend the night alongside scenic Marmot Lake.  10.7 miles, 4630' gain.  Gaia GPS route detailing day 3:

On day 3, after we've set up camp at Marmot Lake Camp, we'll have an optional day hike to Hart Lake and Lake Lacrosse.  3 miles, 900' gain.  Gaia GPS route detailing optional day 3 day hike:

On day 4, we'll reverse direction, briefly traveling counter-clockwise to return to the Lollipop's handle.  We'll go over First Divide a second time as we hike along the North Fork Skokomish River to return to Staircase Rapids trailhead.  17.4 miles, 4000' gain.  Gaia GPS route detailing day 4:


North Fork Skokomish River

  • Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

    Green Trails Mt Christie No. 166

    Green Trails Mt Steel No. 167

    Custom Correct Mount Skokomish - Lake Cushman

    Custom Correct Brothers - Mt Anderson

    Custom Correct Enchanted Valley - Skokomish

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water storage and treatment
  • Bear canister
  • Cooking pot/pan, cup, utensils
  • Stove and fuel
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Microspikes
Trip Reports