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Little River

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There are 7 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Little River — Nov 18, 2013 — Footprints
Day hike
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Monday Hikers enjoyed a 6.2 to 7 mile day hike on this surprisingly delightful trail on a lightly ra...
Monday Hikers enjoyed a 6.2 to 7 mile day hike on this surprisingly delightful trail on a lightly raining day in November. We found there was a lack of information to entice hikers to spend some time on this special trail. Overall, we hiked 3.1 or 3.5 miles (depending on whose GPS you like), stopped for lunch, and hiked back out.
Do not be put off by the steep start to the trail. It begins at 1100 feet elevation and gently rolls up and down and around as it crosses national forest and state forest land. It continues to the river and on into Olympic National Park at 1.1 miles. The trail has been well maintained with many bridges crossing and re-crossing the river. There is a lot to look at including waterfalls, mushrooms, and old growth trees within the National Park. Look for the metal “slinky” that once supported wooden water pipes. The trail winds around large basalt outcroppings often hiding caves with overhanging ferns and mosses. There is smooth walking alternating with roots, rocks, and muddy clay. We crossed six large bridges and two small ones until we came to a lovely lunch area by the river just after the last log bridge. The elevation here was 1650 feet.
This trail goes on and ends at the Hurricane Hill trail (5600 feet elevation). We noted varying distances for the length of the trail on maps including 6.8, 7.7, and 8.4 miles. (?) It appears that the trail must climb steeply nearer the end.
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Little River — Apr 21, 2013 — lesmoore
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Bridge out | Overgrown | Mudholes | Washouts | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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An enjoyable, uncrowded, adventuresome and somewhat challenging Spring hike. There were two bridge w...
An enjoyable, uncrowded, adventuresome and somewhat challenging Spring hike. There were two bridge washouts low on the trail and good map reading are helpful on the upper snow-covered parts. Showshoes were used starting at 3500 ft elevation and required above 4000 or so.

The first major obstacles were two closely spaced bridge washouts a few mile in from the trailhead (the same ones described in the previous trip report in 2011). Where the trail hits the river bank, there is a log crossing less than a 100 ft downstream. After the first crossing, we followed the trail nearest the river's W bank for just a few hundred feet, then crossed back to the E side using a mossy log, picking up the main trail again on the East back in short order. Note: there were other trails on the W side of the stream - the one closest to the river is the correct one (the higher trail veers right and up a small ridge to a campsite).

The continuing trail was easy to follow with 3 additional foot bridge crossings over the next few miles or so, all of which were intact, though slick, and there were a few difficult blowdowns, especially on the steeper sections above the upper bridge.

Further up the trail, at around 3500 ft, we began hiking on intermittent snow and nearly missed the first of two stream crossings about a quarter mile apart or so, visible on the 7.5' series map. At this first crossing, there was no obvious easy log or rocks to cross, so we deviated from the trail and remained on the West side of the creek instead (putting on snowshoes here as well). After about a quarter mile, the hillside leveled out and we picking up the trail again on the West side of the creek at the bottom of a meadow, having never seen the upper crossing. The trail then began up a steeper hill.

After several switchbacks up the hill, the snow became deeper the the trail harder to find and follow. In the flatter areas around 4500 feet we finally lost the trail and simply made way SW toward the ridge line, picking up the busy trail between Hurricane Ridge and Hurricane Hill at 5200 ft.

It was 6 hours to the top of Hurricane Hill and just under 3.5 hours back down to the trailhead (knowing where the trail and riving crossing are saved much time).
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Little River, Hurricane Hill — Aug 13, 2011 — PNA
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown
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Went for a nice little day hike up the Little River trail to Hurricane Ridge. I hadn't done this ...
  Went for a nice little day hike up the Little River trail to Hurricane Ridge. I hadn't done this trail before, but figured it would not be crowded (I saw no one on it, although there were fresh footprints in the one small snowpatch up high) and would be a nice change. It was. Some nice flowers, an interesting old wooden pipeline near the beginning, fairly varied from big old growth trees near the bottom to lily meadows and glades near the top. The fairly level stretch around 3400' was really nice, and unexpected. There were areas from the 2005 (?) burn just above the trail, and pleasant open woods with easy walking. And a nice rest after a bit of steep climbing up from the 3rd footbridge (as marked on the Custom Correct map).

  The first part of the trail is quite level, with some horse use (abuse), and trailbed that seems kind of clayey and might be slippery when wet. And it appears it might be pretty wet, in the wet season. Lots of indian pipes blooming down here. Some big trees start just past the park boundary.

  There is a place to get lost (I did) where the trail comes right to the river bank about 2 miles in. There is a trail on the far side, but it just goes to a couple (illegal) campsites. The trail must have either forked before that (with real trail going up and left) and I missed it completely, or it might be washed out by the river going around a rock. I ended up a little upstream on the wrong side of the river, crossed it again, and bushwacked back up to the trail on the east bank.

  There are a number (10? 15?) of blowdowns from the first footbridge to the top, but none are too difficult to cross. And some soggy mudholes, mostly in the level stretch around 3400', and the upper bit of trail on the east side fo the river (3600').

  The first un-bridged "river" crossing might require getting wet, although I barely managed to get across dry. After that, on the east side of the river, there is some brushy, overgrown muddy, burrowed trail for a while before re-entering forest.
  There is another easy place to lose the trail at the 5th stream crossing (second un-bridged one, 3700'). The trail comes out of the forest into an open valley bottom with alder thickets, and wet, lush meadow with irregular burrowed soil underneath. Several vague areas of trampled vegetation continue up-valley, but the trail takes a 90 degree turn to the right and crosses the stream right after entering the open area.

  From there to the top, the trail is easy enough to find, although it's a streambed (dry when I was there) in many places. Nice glades and dense lily meadows (many blooming) up there. There are a few snow patches, one of which crosses the trail. But it will probably be gone by the time you read this.

  There are quite a few flowers blooming all along the trail - from saprophytes and orchids down low to lilies up high. Up on Hurricane Ridge there are quite a few, and varied flowers blooming. I think it is finally summer up there, although in places things like phlox are still blooming. Lots of people up there, of course, too.

  It was a nice, quiet hike with plenty to see along the way.

  Seeing an earlier WTA trip report discussing the mileage (and claiming 10.9 miles from GPS), I remember only the sign at the top of the trail saying that it is 8.1 miles to the bottom trailhead. And the Custom Correct map claims 7.9. The trip took me a little over 5 hours, and I at least started out going pretty fast, so I'd not be surprised if the trail is really longer than those claim. Or maybe I was just even slower than I thought...
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Little River — Aug 05, 2009 — MrGnome
Day hike
Issues: Bridge out
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Hiked up to the second crossing of the river. The first bridge is out, but there is an easy log jam...
Hiked up to the second crossing of the river. The first bridge is out, but there is an easy log jam crossing just downstream. The second bridge is still usable, but it has no hand-rail and was a bit high and narrow for some members of our party. We also looked at the start of the old miners' trail just after the first crossing. It seems to be in fairly good condition, although we did not go all the way to the mine.
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Little River — Jun 10, 2009 — jojo
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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I've done the first mile or so of this trail many times with my dog, and found a couple of geocaches...
I've done the first mile or so of this trail many times with my dog, and found a couple of geocaches. I decided to do the whole trail all the way to the Hurricane Ridge road. The sign at the bottom of the trail says 7.1 or 7.5 miles to the road, when trail intersects the hurricane hill trail near the upper end, a sign reads 8.1 miles back to the starting point, my GPS says I went 10.9 miles from one end to the other, and there is a LOT of elevation gain. The trail was well maintained for the first (lower) 2/3's, there was one big tree down across the trail, and you have to ford a couple streams. I'm a novice hiker and I managed to get across without the water making it over the top of my hiking boots. There were increasing amounts of snow over the last mile or so and I admittedly followed someone else's tracks going on blind faith and it worked out. Had the trail been the 7.1 miles I thought it was, I planned to hike in and hike back out, but after 10 miles of steady up hill, I jumped at the offer in the parking lot of a ride back down. It is a very nice trail the whole way up, following the water about 90% of the time. Lots of nice waterfalls, bridged stream crossings, and wildflowers are already blooming above 4000ft. I think the trail is worth doing, but maybe plan on having a ride at the other end!
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Little River (#74)
Olympics -- North
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