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Lower South Fork Skokomish River

Olympic Peninsula > Olympia
47.4190, -123.3297 Map & Directions
8.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
800 feet
Highest Point
900 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
The Lower South Fork Skokomish River is a great place to cool off on your hike. Photo by Niko Niko. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Waterfalls
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
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Venture up the Lower South Fork of the Skokomish River for an abundance of flora and fauna amid lush old growth. Continue reading

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Hiking Lower South Fork Skokomish River

Venture up the Lower South Fork of the Skokomish River for an abundance of flora and fauna amid lush old growth.

The trail begins with a series of switchbacks, quickly climbing a few hundred feet past sword fern and salal before leveling out high above the river in a section of old-growth firs. The wide, well-maintained trail breezes past trees hundreds of years old and then abruptly descends back down to the riverside.

From here the trail becomes tame, with only minor elevation changes and small creeks to tiptoe across. As you wander along, enjoy the sounds of the river and watch as the forest shifts easily between stands of maple and alder to hemlock and fir.

The trail extends a full 10.3 miles out to the Upper South Fork Skokomish River Trailhead, but there are a number of decent stopping points along the trail, and past the nine mile mark, the trail gets pretty rugged.

Many hikers call it a day at a bridge and waterfall a quarter mile short of the old Camp Comfort site--at almost exactly four miles, Camp Comfort was an ideal destination before it was washed away in 2007. Others like to get closer to the five mile mark and turn around at a viewpoint at a bend in the river.

This popular hike has some of the best of the Olympics flora and fauna and is well worth a visit. Not surprisingly, the trail attracts hikers year-round as well as mountain bikers and equestrians, so expect a little company. The hike is approachable for hikers of every skill level, and while the initial 300 foot hurdle might be a challenging for some youngsters, most of the route is a decent trek for kids.

WTA Pro Tip: Watch out for herds of Roosevelt elk that frequent the area.

WTA worked here in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Nate and Jer Barnes, WTA Correspondent

Lower South Fork Skokomish River

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4190, -123.3297 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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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

Near Shelton, take Skokomish Valley Rd 5.5 miles to FR-23. Continue 9 miles to FR-2353, then turn right over the river. Turn left at a four-way junction and proceed less than 0.5 mile to the trailhead.

More Hike Details


Olympic Peninsula > Olympia

Lower South Fork Skokomish (#873)

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

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Lower South Fork Skokomish River

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