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    Olympic Hot Springs Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    34.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    965 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Olympic Hot Springs Trail is 34.1 km long, but don’t write it off for a day trip. This popular trail is often travelled by a combination of biking and hiking, and the hot springs are a fantastic way to unwind however you reach them. This is also a popular backpacking route with two campgrounds on the way. With lush forest surrounding a wide, easy-to-navigate road, this trail presents no issues when it comes to routefinding or technicality.

    Many hikers bring bikes and only hike the last 4.8 km or so. If you choose to do so, remember to bring a lock for your bike.

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    Route Description for Olympic Hot Springs Trail

    The Olympic Hot Springs are tucked into a bright green forest, accessed by hiking alongside the Elwha River. These little springs are perfect to dip into after a long day on the trail, which is exactly what this 34.1 km moderately trafficked journey is. Of course, most are either backpacking or using bikes to make the distance easier to handle.

    Okay, the elephant in the room: The National Park Service warns that these pools "are not monitored or maintained and may contain high levels of fecal coliform bacteria." This doesn't stop many people from enjoying them—clothed or otherwise. The other elephant: this is clothing optional.

    The trail is truly a gravel road, so there’s no issue in terms of unsteady footing or route finding. You’ll be able to quickly and efficiently make miles without giving any thought to getting lost or technical trails.

    Beginning from Olympic Hot Springs Road, you’ll travel a straight stretch to reach a curve in the Elwha River, where you’ll follow the lines of the water across a bridge to Elwha Campground. This is the first of two campgrounds in this area, and both are great to stay at.

    Navigating the river delta (which is very scenic), you’ll cross another bridge and continue hiking or biking alongside the water. There is a bottle refill station just before Griff Creek.

    Cross the river again at Altair Campground, then skirt along the water on the adjacent slope. The Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook is a good place to rest and take in the view. Here, the river is reduced in flow and you’ll leave its shores, doubling back up the slope to gain elevation over two hairpin turns.

    Now higher above the river valley, you’ll traverse a slope. At the first junction on the trail, stay left. A collection of creek crossings come next, and then you’ll approach the hot springs.

    At the Crystal Ridge junction, stay left, then stay left again. Wrap around, cross Boulder Creek, and then arrive at the springs. They’re not huge, but take the time to explore around to find the best spot- there are more springs than you can see right from the beginning.

    When you’re ready, retrace your steps back to your campsite, your bike, or to the trailhead on foot.

    Trail Highlights

    Olympic Hot Springs

    The Olympic Hot Springs are natural, unmaintained hot water pools in the Elwha Valley. The pools are in a wilderness area and are left to their own business by the park. While they’re not treated or maintained, they’re still a go-to destination for locals and travellers alike.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you swim in Olympic Hot Springs?

    The springs are not treated or tested by the park, so you will swim at your own risk.

    Are the Olympic Hot Springs clothing optional?

    Yes, the hot springs are clothing optional. This is why we’ve marked this trail as not family-friendly, but visit at your own discretion.

    Can you camp at Olympic Hot Springs?

    You can’t camp right at the springs, but there are two campsites en route to the springs.

    Insider Hints for Olympic Hot Springs Trail

    • You can’t bring pets or bikes to the falls. They’re foot access only.
    • Remember your National Park Pass for this trail.

    Getting to the Olympic Hot Springs Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Olympic Hot Springs Trail is on Olympic Hot Springs Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Elwha Campground, Altair Campground

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Olympic Hot Springs Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Olympic Hot Springs Trail Reviews

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