Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail
The Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail is a very quick little interpretive loop that showcases the temperate rainforest that dominated the Pacific Northwest. This half-mile loop sees lots of visitors, but it also sees lots of rain. Bring your rain gear and have a nice splash in the puddles with the kids if you’re having a family outing—or just take a splash by yourself!
Just a few steps northeast of the loop is a campground.
This trail is easy to follow and well-kept. The footing is still natural rather than paved, so strollers may have a difficult time.
The railhead for the Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail is in the parking area off S Shore Road.
Willaby Creek Campground
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Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail
Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail Description
The Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail is a short loop with interpretive signs. Passing through the rainforest next to a creek, the trail leads out to a viewpoint over the ocean. It’s a hefty dose of classic Olympic Coast scenery in a very small package! While this path isn’t paved, it’s easy to follow, wide, well-kept, and mostly even.
The Quinault Rainforest normally receives 140 inches of rain each year, so make sure you’ve got a raincoat and boots handy. Clear, dry, and sunny days are the exception to the norm in this part of the world.
This trail also links up to a larger trail system that you can extend your hike on. Grab a map or snap a photo at the kiosks for reference. You’ll want to go right at the beginning of the loop to do a longer trail without doubling back on yourself.
From the trailhead in the parking area, set out on the loop. You can go either way and the trail experience isn’t very different one way or another. If you’re extending your loop, go right first. Otherwise, choose whichever way you want.
You’ll hike out through a damp rainforest. Stop at the interpretive signs to read about the ecosystem, flora, and fauna of the area. They detail the life cycles of the plants and animals around you and how this unique region flourishes.
Peer down to Willaby Creek, and shortly after, look for a quick side trail to a small waterfall. The top of the loop takes you to a viewpoint over the water, which is delightful.
All said and done, arrive back at the trailhead.
The Quinault Rainforest is a coastal temperate rainforest in Washington’s Olympic National Park. The rainforest is located in the valley formed by the Quinault River and Lake Quinault. The massive amount of annual rainfall in the area supports an impressive range of species, from the smallest mushrooms and fungi to the towering old-growth trees that make up the upper canopy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Quinault Rainforest always open?
The forest is always open and continually maintained.
Should I visit the Hoh Rainforest or the Quinault Rainforest?
Both! The Hoh is dominated by spruce trees and the Quinault by cedar. Both forests are special in their own right.
What pass do I need for the Quinault Rainforest?
You’ll need a valid Recreation Pass.
Expect to get rained on and dress accordingly.
Book a spot at the Willaby Campground to spend more time in the area.
See how many species of tree you can find on this short walk!
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