Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Willaby Creek

Willaby Creek

Olympic Peninsula > Pacific Coast
47.4549, -123.8498 Map & Directions
0.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
20 feet
Highest Point
430 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Willaby Creek Trail blocked by downed tree Full-size image
  • Old growth

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Saved to My Backpack

This 1.3 mile trail was a lovely, somewhat flat walk through the Olympic rainforest, cleared at least once by WTA crews. But years of deferred maintenance have rendered it impassable past the quarter-mile mark. Knee-deep salal and ferns prevent most progress from the main loop trail. Continue reading

3.40 out of 5

(5 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Willaby Creek

From the trailhead, take the Quinault Loop Trail for about one mile where you'll see a blank signboard on the right. (If you reach the turnpike through the Cedar Bog, you've gone too far.) The Willaby Creek trail starts behind the signboard, while the main loop trail curves off to the left.

You'll quickly be bushwhacking through salal and sword fern, and will soon see some overgrown signage and other indications of the previously maintained trail. After a quarter of a mile from the start of this trail, you'll step up to a neat feature of the old trail: a large tree with one side shaved down to make a tread across a bog.

You'll then see the main obstruction: a massive five-foot diameter trunk laying perpendicular to the path and blocking the trail. The trunk has no bark so is very slippery, and it's so long that there's no easy path around it.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead
  • Accessible toilet
  • Toilet has running water

More information about toilets

Hike Description Written by
Aaron Czechowski, WTA Correspondent

Willaby Creek

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4549, -123.8498 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

Overgrown and blocked after quarter mile

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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 Hoquiam/Aberdeen, head north on Hwy 101. In about 35 miles, you'll pass through the small community of Neilton. A little less than 2.5 miles north on 101, bear right onto the well-signed South Shore Road. At 1.3 miles, the trailhead is on the right, with signs for the Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail. The trailhead has many parking spaces, including at least one accessible parking spot. There are public toilets with running water, trash receptacles, and some picnic tables.

This trailhead serves the Rain Forest Nature Trail loop, the short Nature Trail Loop with interpretive signs, and a trail down to the lake and Willaby Campground. The section of the Nature Trail Loop along the creek is shown on the Forest Service's map as accessible. It's generally flat with dirt or small stones, but is narrow in some sections.

From this trailhead, take the Quinault Loop Trail to get to the start of the Willaby Creek Trail. The map above shows the location of the start of the Willaby Creek Trail.

After your hike, continue along South Shore Road to the small community of Quinault, which has the Quinault Lodge, gas station, mercantile store, and the Quinault Ranger Station. There are several seasonal campgrounds in the area. Other trails extend up into the forest. Cascade Creek creates two falls: one at the Falls Creek Campground under the road next to the ranger station, and the Cascade Falls, which is less than a mile into the forest behind the mercantile store. There's also a trail along the lake to enjoy between the Willaby and Falls Creek campgrounds. Also don't miss the world's largest Sitka spruce tree!

More Hike Details


Olympic Peninsula > Pacific Coast

Willaby Creek (#860)

Olympic National Forest, Pacific Ranger District South (Quinault)

Guidebooks & Maps

Quinault National Recreation Trail System vicinity map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry!

Willaby Creek

5 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports