This trail forms a small loop, four and a half miles, through the Elwha River Valley immediately south of Lake Mills. This portion of the valley was developed before the area came under national protection. Attractions along the route include natural and man-made features.
Begin this hike from the Whiskey Bend Trailhead. Walk south along the Elwha River Trail to a junction one mile from the trailhead. This marks the beginning of the loop. Turn left to remain above the river on a high terrace. This route takes you through a burn area for another half mile to the Humes Ranch/Long Ridge Trail.
Turning right at this junction brings hikers to the riverside. The trail descends 600 feet into Geyser Valley. This valley lies along the rivers edge in a deep canyon. This area was once homesteaded and as you follow the trail southward you'll notice evidence of this development. You'll soon reach Krause Bottom, where fruit trees planted by settlers continue to grow.
Beyond Krause Bottom the trail ascends slightly to Humes Ranch. A cabin at this site, once part of a homestead, has been restored by National Park Service staff. Campsites abound in this lovely riverside area. Continue walking along the river to the next junction, which is the Long Ridge Trail. Turn left at this junction and begin ascending to the terrace above Geyser Valley. The trail ascends approximately 325 feet into an area devastated by forest fire.
The next trail junction you'll reach is at the Elwha River Trail. Turn left here to return to the trailhead. It is almost two miles from this point back to Whiskey Bend.
Directions: From Port Angeles, Follow Highway 101 westward approximately 8 miles to Elwha River Road, a.k.a. Olympic Hot Springs Road. Turn left and follow the river road southward into Olympic National Park. Three miles from Highway 101 you'll reach the Elwha Campground, continue past this facility to the Elwha Ranger Station. (Here you can obtain trail conditions and camping permits.) Beyond the ranger station the Whiskey Bend Road veers left at a fork. Follow this road 4.5 miles to its end and the trailhead for Elwha River Trail and several other routes.
Elevation: 1,198 feet
Ending Elevation: 1,198 feet
Usage: Heavy in Summer
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Olympic National Park, Washington
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