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, 51 mile "Lollipop Loop". Starting at the Staircase Rapids trailhead, we'll hike alongside the scenic North Fork Skokomish River and over LaCrosse, Anderson, and O'Neil passes. And we'll tackle First Divide twice. Total elevation gain of 14,700ft.

  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 51.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 14,700 ft
  • Pace: 2mph

Staircase Rapids Trailhead (

A valid parking pass is required at the trailhead

Friday September 22nd 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 and river crossings.  We will likely travel off-trail in areas of scree, talus, and/or boulders.

As this is a shoulder-season trip, all participants should be prepared for adverse weather conditions, including rain, hail, snow, wind, and cold temperatures.

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 Home Sweet Home camp.  13 miles, 4900' gain.

On day 2, we'll start counter-clockwise around the "Lollipop", ascending LaCrosse pass.  We'll spend the night at Honeymoon Meadows camp.  10 miles, 3200' gain.

On day 3, we'll continue counter-clockwise around the "Lollipop", ascending both Anderson and O'Neil passes.  We'll spend the night alongside scenic Marmot Lake.  11 miles, 3500' gain.

On day 3, after we've set up camp at Marmot Lake, we'll have an optional day hike to explore Hart Lake and Lake Lacrosse.

On day 4, we'll continue 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.  17.5 miles, 3100' gain.

A Caltopo route is available here.

Weather forecast is available here.

Participants will be asked to pay $25/person for the backcountry permit obtained by the trip leader.


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 or Ursack
  • Stove and fuel
  • Cooking pot, cup, and utensil as needed
  • Toilet paper / bidet and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports