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Church Creek

Driving Directions:

From Shelton travel north on US 101 for 7 miles, turning left at milepost 340 onto Skokomish Valley Road (Following sign for "Skokomish recreation Area"). Follow this paved road for 5.5 miles, bearing right onto Forest Road 23. In 1 mile the pavement ends, continue on this road until entering into the Olympic National Forest. Continue for 6 miles on FR 23 to a signed junction. Bear left on FR 23, proceeding 4.4 miles. Turn right onto FR 2361 and follow it for 3.4 miles to FR 2361-600 on your left. Follow this spur to a hairpin turn. Trailhead is on your left.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 13 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Church Creek — Sep 01, 2013 — hikelikemike
Day hike
Features: Ripe berries
Issues: Blowdowns | Bugs
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Wow, this trail isn't the easiest to find, even using the guidelines above. Used a WA Gazetteer to t...
Wow, this trail isn't the easiest to find, even using the guidelines above. Used a WA Gazetteer to trace our steps through forest service roads. Luckily we got there on our first try, but the last spur off the main road twists for a while and the trailhead is actually at the very end of the spur, not at a hairpin.

The first 1.5 miles are awesome - a steady climb through some fantastic 2nd-growth forest (there's really no such thing as 'old growth' these days, but these trees are impressive). Winding up the ridge through very large cedar, doug fir and hemlock and some really awesome snags was a lot of fun.

Passed some folks picking berries, and they were abundant. Then passed some more folks with a dog. Neither group bothered to mention the swarm of horseflies that was waiting up in the meadow above. We didn't make it to the lakes that are about 2.5 miles in b/c the flies were too thick. We had to turn back and had the flies trailing us for almost the whole way back down, during which we actually passed both other groups heading back home themselves.

Going to have to try this one again in either very early season or in the fall after the bugs back off a bit. The forest is beautiful, there are some views to be had here and there, and the trail is enough of a workout to make it worth the drive. Actually kind of surprised this isn't a designated wilderness area given the environs we encountered, but it is good as any of the wilderness areas we've been into this season.
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Church Creek, Ned Hill — Jun 28, 2013 — Joe Hendricks
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Two minutes of video highlights: http://youtu.be/kVK8EtZsqIM Perfect timing - half the rhododendr...
Two minutes of video highlights: http://youtu.be/kVK8EtZsqIM
Perfect timing - half the rhododendron blooms covered the trail like a wedding carpet, and the other half were still going strong on the plants!

Road has several bad stretches of washboard/potholes. Trail is in great shape.

Along with the rhodies, I saw paintbrush, mariposa lilies, vetch, penstemon, wild strawberry and a few others. Watch for glimpses of Baldy and Tyler peaks through the trees on one side and Deer Ridge on the other.
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Church Creek — May 14, 2013 — Olygrywolf
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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This trail still has quite a lot of snow. Lots of blow downs to get around. Trail has water issues i...
This trail still has quite a lot of snow. Lots of blow downs to get around. Trail has water issues in places right now also. Blueberries are starting to fruit at lower elevation and plants are starting to come out of dormancy with Trillium showing first.
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Church Creek — Jul 28, 2012 — justaguy
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Blowdowns | Bugs
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We started in a very secluded parking lot at the end of FS600 and started our adventure over an Ol...

We started in a very secluded parking lot at the end of FS600 and started our adventure over an Olympic Mountain pass to find Satsop Lakes. The parking lot is in the headwaters of the Skokomish River that drains into the Hood Canal, while the water at Satsop Lakes drains into the Chehalis River, and then the Pacific Ocean: pretty neat. The trailhead isn't marked, but is well maintained. For the first section, we climbed through old stands of firs and meadows of huckleberries. The section was pretty much the same, but we were going downhill. There wasn't any flowing water after the first mile until you get to the first lake. Also, there were a fair number of biting insects, but nothing too heinous. We didn't see anyong else, hear any cars, or even an airplane. That's a pretty tough find for western washington on a weekend!

The are no signs, save a random FS "equal employement" laminate a few yards down the trail. It looks like there's been solid trailcrew work for the first mile or so, then it gets more overgrown. It's pretty easy to follow, though. I think the trail follows a different route than what's shown on the map on the second section, after you cross the pass.
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Church Creek — Jun 25, 2011 — Montana
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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The road up was great until the last 0.2 miles and there was a small washout. It might explain the s...
The road up was great until the last 0.2 miles and there was a small washout. It might explain the solitude on the trail. The first 24 switchbacks are strenuous and then we hit snow a few feet from the old bulldozer road. We lost the trail and never was able to find it again. The hike through the old growth and up to the road was fantastic but I will be heading back later in the summer to continue to Satsop Lake.
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church creek - pest.jpg
The serene Church Creek and surrounding forests.
Location
Church Creek (#871)
Olympics -- South
Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 6.4 miles
Elevation Gain 2300 ft
Highest Point 3200 ft
Features
Rivers
Lakes
Waterfalls
Old growth
Wildflowers/Meadows
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails My Tebo No. 199

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Red MarkerChurch Creek
38.9517791 -76.5382948
(38.9518, -76.5383) Open in new window
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