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Big Creek

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In the shadows of Mount Ellinor, enjoy this circuitous route around the Big Creek drainage. There are plenty of pretty resting and contemplation spots along the way. Plenty of cascades too, along Big Creek and the smaller creeks feeding into it.

Save this hike for a hot summer day when shaded glens offer respite from the midday rays. Forested all the way, and always within earshot of tumbling water, the Big Creek Trail makes a fine rainy-day hike too. Constructed entirely by volunteers, this relatively new addition to the Olympic National Forest trail inventory is sure to gain in popularity.

Utilizing many old roads, the crew put together an interesting loop guaranteed to make you walk away with a better appreciation of the beauty of cascading waters. Start your journey by walking west through the picnic area and to the Big Creek Nature Trail. This trail circles the campground for a 1-mile loop. But you've got bigger plans, so cross Big Creek on a good bridge and come to a junction. Turn left on Trail No. 827.1 and start the big loop.

Clockwise is the preferred direction for an easier-on-the-knees descent. On a well-built and well-shaded trail begin ascending above the creek. Mileposts and resting benches grace the way. After 1 mile the grade gets steeper. Mount Washington hovering above can occasionally be seen through gaps in the forest canopy. At 1.7 miles you'll come to a junction. You can continue straight on the loop, or take an interesting side trip dropping to the confluence of Big and Branch Creeks. Here you'll find good lunch rocks among the two tumbling waterways.

Continuing on the main loop, soon come to a junction with the Mount Ellinor Trail. This is the long and challenging way to the popular peak. Next comes a scenic crossing of Branch Creek on a good bridge. A few steps ahead and another good bridge is encountered, this one spanning Big Creek above a gorgeous cascade. The loop now begins descending, skirting some big boulders and granting good views of roaring Big Creek.

At 2 miles another side trail drops to the confluence of Big and Branch Creeks. Following an old road, the main loop works its way 2 miles back to the campground, but not before spanning scenic Skinwood and No Name Creeks, passing the giant firs that loggers forgot, and catching a glimpse of Mount Ellinor rising above the watershed. At 4 miles this lovely loop ends at the Big Creek Nature Trail. Return to the main trailhead by following the nature trail 0.5 mile in either direction.
Driving Directions:

From Shelton travel north on US 101 for 15 miles to Hoodsport. Turn left (west) onto State Route 119, proceeding 9.3 miles to a T intersection with Forest Road 24. Make a sharp left and immediately turn right into the Big Creek Campground. The trailhead is located near the picnic shelter.

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

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There are 71 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Big Creek — Mar 31, 2014 — Mossy Mom
Day hike
Issues: Road to trailhead inaccessible
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There is only room to park a couple of cars at the alternate trail head. Alternate trailhead is jus...
There is only room to park a couple of cars at the alternate trail head. Alternate trailhead is just across the creek where we used to acess the trail when the bridge was out. Half of the loop is closed. Pictures of the construction are here:
http://mosswalks.blogspot.com/2014/03/big-creek.html

I did not bring my camera today..
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Big Creek — Mar 30, 2014 — Nutmeg
Day hike
Issues: Road to trailhead inaccessible
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I was a little confused by the prior posts, so we decided to drive on out to Big Creek to see what's...
I was a little confused by the prior posts, so we decided to drive on out to Big Creek to see what's what, with Mt. Rose as a backup hike. Big Creek Campground and half of the loop trail are CLOSED, and it's a misdemeanor to hike on the closed trail or camp until they are done. I ardently hope these "logging operations" are confined to what is needed for campground safety and expansion.The last logging (clear cut) already has resulted in serious blow-down and erosion issues with this wonderful family trail, not to mention inserting some serious ugly into an otherwise lovely part of Earth. Sigh.

If anyone has more info, please post. I'll try calling the ranger station this week and post an update if I find out more. The Google is oddly devoid of details on this (at least that I can find); so much for transparency.

That said, we had a GREAT hike at Mt. Rose!
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Big Creek — Jan 20, 2014 — jlk1959
Day hike
Issues: Road to trailhead inaccessible
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I arrived at the gate to the Big Creek camp ground at about 10:30 am. There were 3 other vehicles al...
I arrived at the gate to the Big Creek camp ground at about 10:30 am. There were 3 other vehicles already parked there. I put on my rain gear and headed in. As it turned out I did not need any rain gear at all. The sun came out, the trail was in great shape. No water or muddy spots at all.
 
There were plenty if benches to rest on, of which I took full advantage of.
I only saw two other couples the entire time.
Prior to getting to the trail, I stopped at the Ranger station and picked up a news release that states that the camp ground is to remain closed for the next 9 months starting in February, and the Big Creek Loop Trail #827 will be reduced by half to only the west side up to the Confluence Trail #827.3.
I am glad I got up there to do this hike. And the best part for me was the
Confluence Trail #827.3. Its short and steep but with the side trip.
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Big Creek — Dec 05, 2013 — Mossy Mom
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns
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More trees have fallen across the trail in the area next to the logging.. what a shame. Three trees...
More trees have fallen across the trail in the area next to the logging.. what a shame. Three trees, two large, one small.

Thanks to whom ever cut out the blowdowns a couple of weeks ago. There are new blow downs since then.

Still no snow.. amazing!

Lots of ice.

http://mosswalks.blogspot.com/[…]/big-creek-loop-in-cold-while-sick.html
for all the pictures
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Big Creek — Nov 23, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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We parked outside the gate at Big Creek CG which will be closed through 2014 for improvements. We hi...
We parked outside the gate at Big Creek CG which will be closed through 2014 for improvements. We hiked the loop clock-wise. The logs across the trail near the clearcut have been cleared! Thank you to the MT Rose Trail Crew! :)! We saw 9 other hikers. There are many new benches with backs! Again, thank you! This is a beautiful well-constructed trail with beautiful hand-crafted bridges! The mushrooms are fading!
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big creek by bob&alex.jpg
Big Creek by Bob & Alex
Location
Big Creek (#827)
Olympics -- East
Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain 900 ft
Highest Point 1870 ft
Features
Rivers
Old growth
Mountain views
Established campsites
User info
Dogs allowed on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Custom Correct Mount Skokomish-Lake Cushman

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerBig Creek
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