Olympic National Forest
Due to weather and trail conditions, horseback riding and use of pack animals is more enjoyable from the late spring to early fall. During the winter, trails may be muddy or blocked with trees that have blown over during wind storms. Please double check with the appropriate Ranger Station for current trail conditions when planning your trip.
Hood Canal Ranger District
The South Fork Skokomish Trail is ideal for horse use, being relatively flat and paralleling the Skokomish River through majestic stands of old-growth trees. One can travel 15.2 miles to the Olympic National Park Boundary.
The Duckabush Trail proves to be a more challenging equestrian trail meandering through the Brothers Wilderness Area. Traveling is easy for the first 2.5 miles before the grade increases and the trail becomes quite steep with loose rock—from 700' to 1,700' elevation going over the Big Hump area. The trail becomes more moderate as you move west toward the Park boundary. Overall travel is 6.7 miles to the Olympic Park boundary, where you can travel another 4 miles to 10 Mile Camp.
Dry Creek Trail is good and relatively flat going along Dry Creek Lake to a viewpoint of Mt. Rose. The incline starts 1.4 miles from the trailhead for 5 miles—from 907' to 3,700' elevation. A switchback occurs 4.2 miles at Dry Creek Crossing, bearing to the right, through a stand of old-growth trees. The climb continues to the pass between Dry Mountain and Prospect Ridge, at which point the trails plateaus and descends to Forest Service Road #2353-200.
Quilcene Ranger District
The Lower Big Quilcene Trail follows the Big Quilcene River with views of forested slopes and the river below. This trail remains relatively flat and ideal for horse use for about 6 miles to the 10 Mile Shelter.
Mt. Zion Trail is a 2-mile ride to the summit of Mt. Zion, offering beautiful views of Puget Sound, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, and the Cascades. The trailhead accommodates equestrian users with a ramp for loading and unloading horses.
Tubal Cain Mines Trail provides 8.8 miles of travel to Marmot Pass. It accesses the remains of the historic Tubal Cain Mine (where copper and manganese were discovered in 1889) and offers views of the Olympic Mountains and Copper Creek Valley.
The Lower and Upper Dungeness Trails winds along the picturesque Dungeness River and then climbs to Marmot Pass for a total of 7.8 miles.
Gold Creek Trail is a more heavily wooded trail with few viewpoints. Its steeper slopes (up to 20 percent) offer opportunities for the more adventurous.
Graywolf Trail offers access to the Graywolf River through stands of Douglas fir, with rhododendrons and wildflowers in the open areas. It takes the equestrian adventurer 8.8 miles before reaching the Park boundary with slopes of 0-20 percent en route. Equestrian users are advised that there is a river ford to connect with Slab Camp Trail.
Quinault Ranger District
West Fork Humptulips River Loop and Lower Pete's Creek Trail offers riders a scenic 5-mile jaunt along the West Fork of the Humptulips River. This can be accessed either from the Campbell Tree Grove Shelter or from the Lower Pete's Creek Trail by FS Road #2204. If you wish to add some challenge to this trip, you can advance up the steeper Pete's Creek Trail continuing three miles for views of Colonel Bob and Moonshine Flats. Pete's Creek Trailhead offers a loading and mounting platform with a wheelchair ramp.
Colonel Bob Trail is 6.3 miles long and offers challenges with steeper terrain and intriguing views of the mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean as you meander through this old-growth forest wilderness area. Camping is available at Moonshine Flats, or you may continue your travels and tie in with the Lower Pete's Creek Trail accessed from Road #2204.
Soleduck Ranger District
Mt. Mueller Trail is a 13-mile loop trail offering equestrian lovers a challenging 3-mile climb to Snider Ridge at 2,200 feet elevation. It meanders on the north side of the ridge to high-elevation meadows, eventually winding through swordferns, vine maples and hanging mosses. On a clear day, enjoy magnificent views of Mt. Olympus, Lake Crescent and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication