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The Elk Lake Trailhead is located at the bottom of a fairly steep spur road off of Forest Service Road 2401. This is an easy trail which leads in three directions from the trailhead for three short day hikes around the Elk Lake area. The longest leads to the junction with Jefferson Ridge Trail for an extended hike. There is a small parking area at the bottom, or you can park on the side of the road and walk down the spur road. There is a toilet located near the trailhead and the small parking lot.

Hiking the left fork of the trail at the trailhead takes you along the south shore of Elk Lake to Cedar Creek where the trail pops up to Forest Service Rd 2401. There are several campsites along the lake in this area.

Following the trail to the right from the trailhead leads you across a beautiful section of Jefferson Creek and up to the main trail. Taking the left fork from this point will lead you along the edge of Elk Lake, through old-growth forest and, in .7 miles, up to FS 2401.

The right fork of the main trail will lead you through second growth stands of timber and older stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, and Madrona. This portion of the trail pops out of the trees frequently with many views of the Jefferson Creek drainage. Sounds of Jefferson Creek can be heard deep down in the valley. This portion of the trail meets FS 2421 and the Jefferson Ridge Trail.

Directions: From Hoodsport, Travel US Highway 101 10 miles north to Jorsted Creek Rd (FS Road 24). Follow 24 for 1.25 miles to FS 2480. Continue on FS Rd 2480 for 5.5 miles to the spur road and trailhead.

Elevation: 1,100 feet

Ending Elevation: 1,100 feet

Distance: 1.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

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Olympic National Forest, Washington

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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