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Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail

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From a historic ranger station, travel back into the early days of the Olympic National Forest. Then amble under moss-draped trees to an isolated gurgling fishing hole on the Duckabush River.

This short trail leads to, not along, the Duckabush-stoking your anticipation as it cuts its way through a dense and dank forest delivering you to a sunny ledge above the tumbling and churning river. But before you make a beeline to the river, a little historical appreciation is in order. Start by admiring the Interrorem Cabin. Built in 1907, this structure is the oldest Forest Service dwelling on the Olympic Peninsula. Interrorem served as a ranger station, a base for Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps workers, and a fire guard station. Currently it's rented out by the Forest Service for the public to use overnight. Be sure to respect the privacy of any guests who may be staying in the cabin while you're visiting.

The first overnighter at Interrorem was Ranger Emery Finch. Mr. Finch, an avid fisherman, was responsible for building the Ranger Hole Trail-a path to his favorite fishing spot, the ranger's fishing hole. The trail leads 0.8 mile to that revered spot. Through mature second growth (cut circa Finch's tenure) the good path climbs a little hump then makes a slow descent toward the river. In April hundreds of trilliums line the way. As the Duckabush's roar becomes more audible, the trail makes a steep drop, emerging at the famed fishing spot.

While the fishing isn't what it used to be, you'll still catch some good views of the river. The Duckabush crashes through a narrow chasm here. Frothy gurgling waters crash up against the narrow cleft. Be sure to keep small children nearby while admiring this landmark. On your return, take the 0.3-mile interpretive loop for more information on the Interrorem Cabin and the Ranger Hole.
Driving Directions:

From Shelton drive north on US 101 for 37 miles. (From Quilcene drive US 101 south for 15 miles.) At milepost 310 turn left (west) onto Duckabush Road (signed "Duckabush Recreation Area"). Drive 3.6 miles to the Interrorem Cabin, located on your left. Park here for the trailhead. Water and privy available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 19 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail — Jan 18, 2014 — Karen Daubert
Day hike
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This is a lush and forest green trail that meanders to an old fishing hole. I would recommend this ...
This is a lush and forest green trail that meanders to an old fishing hole. I would recommend this for families (except keep a close hold of little ones at the river's edge). I especially recommend the interpretive trail that is located at the beginning of the walk and is associated with the nearby restored ranger cabin.

The two-plus mile trail recently received some tender loving care as new gravel had been placed and logs removed. I met one other party who had just spotted an eagle at the fishing hole. When I returned to my car, a family was in the process of moving into the cabin for the long weekend and the children excitedly described the lack of electricity and demonstrated the outside water pump.

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Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail — Dec 06, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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This was our second short hike of the day. With the temperature in the high teens it was nice to be ...
This was our second short hike of the day. With the temperature in the high teens it was nice to be able to return to the heated truck to warm up before getting cold again! The cold and clear skies did add beauty to the day! We had not hiked these trails for over 20 years so it was interesting to refresh our memories about the history of the area along the Interrorem Trail. There was evidence of recent trail work along the Ranger Hole Trail. On our return home we read Nutmeg's report of 11-26 and learned we had The Mt Rose Trail Crew to thank for the rerouting of a large fir tree whose root ball had landed in the trail itself. She has interesting pictures of the crew and the rerouting process! Thank you to them for the reroute and removal of other smaller trees across the trail! :)!
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Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail — Nov 26, 2013 — Nutmeg
Day hike
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I walked the Ranger Hole trail Sunday and encountered a giant fir whose root ball was squarely block...
I walked the Ranger Hole trail Sunday and encountered a giant fir whose root ball was squarely blocking the path. I dutifully snapped some shots to send to Mt. Rose Trail Crew when I got back Tuesday. Well, those guys must have ESP, because who shows up Monday morning but MRTC!! They re-routed around the root wad by cutting a trail through the log farther up and making approaches, graveled a turnpike that was going a bit muddy, and took care of a few other logs that had fallen in the trail, too. Ranger Hole and Interrorem Nature trails are now clear and beautiful. Thanks to the wonderful guys who keep them looking that way all year round!! I was not to get lonely, either. Tuesday morning saw a herd of 30+ elk in the yard and woods around the cabin – magnificent creatures!! Pics of these pretty trails (great for kids!) and my visitors of the human and ungulate variety are at: http://www.flickr.com/[…]/.
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Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail — Feb 23, 2013 — boplummer
Day hike
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My wife and I took our 7 & 4 year old daughters and 1 year old son on the Ranger Hole hike on Saturd...
My wife and I took our 7 & 4 year old daughters and 1 year old son on the Ranger Hole hike on Saturday. It was just under an easy 2 hour drive from Tacoma, and a fantastic trip.

The roads we all very passable for our minivan. No issues with the kids on the trail - there were no blow downs or anything in the path, and no excessive moisture. The kids loved the nature, and the views of the river were fantastic.

The total hike time was just over an hour, including about 20 minutes to explore and take pictures at the river. I highly recommend this for hiking families.
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Murhut Falls, Duckabush River, Ranger Hole - Interrorem Nature Trail — Feb 09, 2013 — Nutmeg
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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The road is great to Ranger Hole Trail head. After that it’s still easily passable with a 2WD seda...
The road is great to Ranger Hole Trail head. After that it’s still easily passable with a 2WD sedan, but look out for the potholes! The road is completely snow-free all the way to Murhut with some small branches down from the Murhut cutoff to trailhead, but easy to avoid or go over.

Photos from today’s hikes to Murhut, River Camp on the Duckabush River Trail, and Ranger Hole are at: http://www.flickr.com/[…]/

Murhut Falls – the trail has a little snow in spots and some trees and limbs down but is easy to hike. The excellent drainage work on this trail means there is no water or soggy spots. We were surprised by the number of people on the trail – almost a dozen besides us, one dog off leash, one on (ours). The falls were really flowing, but as there were people smoking at the falls (seriously?), we could not stay to enjoy and headed straight back down. We continued up the road about a mile before hitting snow and turned back there.

Duckabush River Trail – 4 cars at the trailhead when we arrived around 1 p.m. There’s a tree across the trail right at the beginning and lots of limbs and branches down, including a few more trees (most 8” or less). After Little Hump much of the trail is still snow-covered, but it’s only a few inches deep, well compacted, and melting out. We only went to River Camp at 2.5 miles, and the trail was easily hikeable in boots alone. A hiker coming off Big Hump told us it’s mostly melted due to the southern exposure with snow started up again on the far side. I can’t wait to get back out here with WTA in May and work on this trail!!!

Ranger Hole and Interrorem Nature Trails – Oh, my stars! When I was here in January, these lovely little trails were almost impassible due to the snow, trees, and branches down. Mt. Rose Trail Crew went out and voila! All issues cleared, and beautifully, too. The trail is in great condition and lovely with mossy maples and red-brown leaves. Pretty as the trail is, the frothing green of Ranger Hole puts all other colors to shame. It is raging and gorgeous. As we stood mesmerized by the river, a bald eagle flew right over us, landed in a tree for a while peering into the calm pool down from the rapids, then flew off down the river. Spectacular!
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ranger hole duckabush darceyoh.jpg
The Duckabush River is reached along the Ranger Hole Trail. Photo by Darceyoh.
Location
Ranger Hole (#824), Interrorem Nature (#804)
Olympics -- East
Olympic National Park - Hood Canal Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.1 miles
Elevation Gain 200 ft
Highest Point 320 ft
Features
Rivers
Old growth
User info
Good for kids
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (Burton - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails #168 The Brothers
Custom Correct The Brothers-Mount Anderson

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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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