Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Lower Dungeness River

Lower Dungeness River

Olympic Peninsula > Hood Canal
47.9307, -123.0946 Map & Directions
12.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2,500 feet
Highest Point
2,700 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Lower Dungeness River. Photo by Bob and Barb.
  • Wildlife
  • Rivers
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Waterfalls
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Saved to My Backpack

The Lower Dungeness Trail travels through mostly conifer forests high above the river with a fair bit of elevation gain for a river hike. Continue reading

3.78 out of 5

(9 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Lower Dungeness River

The Lower Dungeness Trail travels through mostly conifer forests along the steep slopes of the Dungeness. You'll start very close to the river with views of the lush valley floor, but soon, the trail starts to ascend to the steep valley walls.

Beginning riverside, this trail climbs up along a hillside and in the first couple of miles and passes through various stands of cedar, Douglas fir and alder. You'll occasionally be offered views of the other side of the Dungeness Valley and even the snowy caps far up to the river headwaters.

At two miles, a trail to the left shortly leads to a big rocky outcropping. From here, you will be offered a full view of the entire valley upstream all the way to Mount Townsend.

At the halfway point, be sure to detour for Three O'Clock Ridge. This makes a good spot to stop for a snack, where you'll enjoy views of the valley bottom, Dirty Face Ridge and Mount Townsend.

This overlook makes a great stopping spot, but those that want to continue are in for a treat past the viewpoint. The forest gets more gorgeous as you go, and the trail returns you to the river level again. A shelter in excellent condition sits next to the Dungeness.

The trail ends at the upper trailhead at around 6.0 miles. The upper trailhead has a campsite making it a viable option for a car camp. For day hikers, call it quits at the upper trailhead and hike the way you came.

WTA worked here in 2016, 2015, 2012 and 2010!

Lower Dungeness River

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.9307, -123.0946 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From US 101, take Palo Alto Road for about 7 miles to FR 2880. Turn right on FR 2880 and follow for 1.7 miles; it will descend and cross the Dungeness River then climb up on the other side. Turn left onto FR 2870 and follow for 2.6 miles, you'll then reach a fork in the road with a sign that indicates that FR2870 is to the right. Go left here and you'll descend to a parking lot near the river.

Note: FR 2850 (leading to the trailhead from the FR 28 on east side of the river) has been decommissioned.

More Hike Details


Olympic Peninsula > Hood Canal

Lower Dungeness River (#833.3)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Custom Correct: Buckhorn Wilderness

USGS Tyler Peak

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry!

Lower Dungeness River

75 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports