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Big Creek

Olympic Peninsula

Location

Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal
View map below

Length

4.3 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 850 ft.
Highest Point: 1850 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

This low-key loop in the shadow of Mount Ellinor makes for a great respite on a hot summer day or a low-country winter ramble when it's rainy. The shade of the deciduous trees makes it cool in the summer and provides a nice umbrella in the rain. Burbling creeks of varying sizes keep you constant company on this loop, and places to sit and rest are dotted all along the way. 

From the large and luxurious parking Big Creek Campground, look for the Upper Big Creek Loop (Trail 827). Initially quite a flat route heading straight towards Big Creek, the trail weaves through the forest for a short bit before arriving at a large bridge that crosses the creek. Crossing this bridge, you step onto the true Big Creek loop trail. 

Head downstream on the wide trail, then take a switchback to begin ascending. The forest is open here, but the cool shade offered from the enormous bigleaf maples is still sufficient to cool you off on a hot day. Look for benches to rest on, and peek through the trees to find Mount Washington. A mile in, the trail gets steeper, and about another mile in, look for a junction. Taking the right trail will deliver you to the confluence of three creeks and several good spots to take lunch.

Back on the main trail, you'll arrive at a junction with the Mount Ellinor Trail. It's 1.4 miles to the main trail up Mount Ellinor, a challenging, steep hike to this extremely popular location on the Peninsula. It's a worthy destination, and if you have time, worth working into your outing here. 

But if there's no time for it, continue on and head for another creek crossing. From this, and another bridge a bit further on, you'll have good views of Big Creek. 

Hiking on the main trail, you'll see the Creek Confluence Trail rejoin the main route two miles in. Staying left here, follow an old road grade lined with rhododendrons to finish the hike out. You'll be returning to the campground area, so be sure to look for the spur trail that crosses the creek and heads back to where you parked -- otherwise you will wind up on the Big Creek Nature Trail. It's only another 0.8 miles, if you're still looking to walk around. Otherwise, hang a right and hike 0.1 miles back to the parking area. 

 

Big Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4933, -123.2110 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Olympic Peninsula -- Hood Canal

Big Creek (#827)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S

Custom Correct Mount Skokomish–Lake Cushman

Getting There

From Shelton, drive north on Highway 101 to Hoodsport, about 15 miles. Make a left onto Highway 119 and drive 9.5 miles west to a "T" intersection with Forest Road 24. At this large intersection, turn left and then immediately right into the Big Creek Campground. Continue through the campground justa bit to the day-use parking area and trailhead where you'll also find a pit toilet.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Big Creek

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