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Don’t Look Down The view from Hurricane Hill.

LITTLE RIVER TRAIL

5.5 MILES ONE WAY
"It’s the most beautiful trail in this area of the park," says Rod Farlee of Friends of Olympic National Park about the route down from the park’s biggest visitor center. "It has everything from deep old-growth hemlock forest through to alpine meadows. And secret waterfalls and an historic mine." HURRICANE RIDGE

PJ LAKE TRAIL

1.8 MILES ROUND TRIP
The drive to Obstruction Point can get a little white-knuckled, but it’s worth it for this precious little lake less than a mile off the road. "Usually there’s nobody there," says Craig Romano, author of dozens of hiking manuals including Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula. "Berries, flowers—I think there’s even decent fishing in there," he says. HURRICANE RIDGE

BOGACHIEL RIVER TRAIL

UP TO 48 MILES ROUND TRIP
The crowds head for the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. But about five miles from Forks, this separate trail accesses an equally lush wonderland of trees, ferns, and mosses. "The trail has the same beautiful mossy rain forest, sightings of elk, a beautiful salmon-bearing river—the classic temperate rain forest," says Lauren Braden, communications director for the Washington Trails Association. "But there’s a chance you might not see anybody else." TRAILHEAD ON HIGHWAY 101

DOSEWALLIPS ROAD

10 MILES ROUND TRIP
A washout blocked the park’s only eastern access point in 2002, but who needs wheels? Drive up to the washout and bypass the glacial till on foot; the gravel road is wide and on a shallow grade. "You go through beautiful forest looking down on this gorge, and follow the trail under classic pillow lava basalt by a really spectacular waterfall," says Cebe Wallace, a climbing leader for the Mountaineers outdoor club. DOSEWALLIPS

CEDAR LAKE TRAIL

24 MILES ROUND TRIP
"It’s super off-the-charts," says Steve Sutorius, owner of Wildernest Outdoor Store in Port Townsend, of his favorite alpine pool. After navigating down to Three Forks and up the Grey Wolf River, take a side trail to an expansive view of the Needles peaks and Mount Deception. "You know the Olympics that you can see from downtown Seattle? You’re just on the other side of those peaks," says Sutorius. DEERPARK

This article appeared in the August 2011 issue of Seattle Met Magazine.

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