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

Thursday September 12th 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 multiple river crossings.  We will likely travel off-trail in areas of scree, talus, and boulders.

As with any trip in the backcountry, 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.

To ensure that we have a compatible group (fitness, comfort with challenging terrain, etc) able to successfully and safely complete the trip, leader's permission is required.  In your request, please:

(1) Confirm that you've read and agree with the trip's Goals, Expectations, and Style.

(2) Confirm that you're comfortable with very challenging terrain, and that you're interested in 4 days of long miles, high gain, and lots of challenge.

(3) Detail the trips you have planned for this season

(4) Detail the trips you've taken *in the last 12 months* that have prepared you for a trip like this.  For each trip, please provide:

  • your average distance/gain per day
  • the maximum distance/gain you had in a single day
  • the # days you were in the backcountry.


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, 6700' loss.

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
  • Stove / fuel
  • Sleeping bag / pad
  • Water storage / treatment
  • Bear canister / Ursack
  • Pot / mug / spoon
  • Clothing suitable for hot, cold, and wet weather
  • River crossing shoes
Trip Reports