Staircase Rapids Hike

Someone recommended that I go and hike Staircase Rapids in the Olympic National Forest. The hike is out by Lake Cushman, at the very end of the lake and a little more. Northwest Pearls: Lake Cushman

We got a late start to the day and got lunch in Hoodsport at a little diner called The Tides. Then we continued on our way and got to the hike. We bought a day pass for the hike, one of these days I might buy an annual pass but as much as I'd like to use it, I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the expense.

So we parked and started on our hike. We started by going over the bridge first. It was pretty and the color of the water was spectacular. Once we were over the bridge we got to the trail where we were warned about a recent cougar sighting.

The hike isn't very strenuous although we did break a sweat. However, most of that is probably due to the fact that we went when it was around 90 degrees out. We took a detour down a path that led to an ancient fallen tree, 14 feet in diameter. It was around 800 years old when it fell.

Northwest Pearls: Ancient Fallen Tree

The river runs along most of this part of the loop so you can view it fairly often.

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River


There is a bridge connecting to the other side of the river and you can feel it move beneath your feet. It reminded me of a bridge over in Spokane. (I don't remember the name of that hike.)

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River Bridge

Once we were across the bridge we went right right away and down a little path. This was not the actual path and we turned around after a bit. The path we were supposed to take is straight out from the bridge and eventually we came to a 'T' where we turned right to go back to where we started. This path was a lot better maintained and about four feet wider.

Once we reached our car, we drove off and stopped at a few places to take some more pictures of Lake Cushman.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Cushman

It was a nice hike, and if you're looking for something that's pretty but not too long, it's a good one.

Have you been out to Staircase Rapids? Are there any other hikes in the PNW that you'd recommend?