Yesterday I returned to the Lower Gray Wolf River trail with the Over 40 Slackers. We did this trail last year on May 21, 2016 on an equally drizzly day, however last time the rhododendrons were blooming. Here is the link to my previous blog post: Lower Gray Wolf River, May 2016. This year there were a lot of trillium blooming which was a nice treat.
Here are the stats again:
Region: Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal
8.4 Miles Round Trip, 800 ft. elevation gain, highest point 1500 ft.
No parking permit was required. The dirt road in was fairly long but in good shape. We made it in a Honda Fit (not mine) with no issues. I didn’t see directions on the WTA website so here they are:
From the west end of the Hood Canal Bridge, drive SR 104 to its end and veer North onto Hwy 101. Proceed 16 miles and turn left onto Louella Rd. (You will pass a Casino, it is shortly after that. It is just before reaching the Sequim Bay State Park entrance.) in 1 mile turn left on Palo Alto Rd. continuing for 6 miles to a junction. Bear right at a junction onto FR 2880. The road descends and crosses the Dungeness River, coming to another junction in 1.7 miles. Turn Right on FR 2870, cross the Gray Wolf River, and arrive at the trailhead after 1.8 miles.
This trail starts on a gradual downhill (which means it ends on an uphill), and as you proceed, it has some steep ups and downs along the way, but they are fairly short ups and downs. I was feeling pretty out of shape again, and a little low on energy due to staying up too late plus reducing calories in my diet last week. I will plan better next time and have a couple more healthy snacks with me. I see this as inspiration to get in shape and lose the weight I gained over the winter plus more.
There were a couple of minor obstacles along the way, the biggest of which was mud. There were a few blow-downs, but nothing too difficult to get by. Lastly, there were a couple of parts of the trail near the end where there was a some erosion that was slightly challenging, but not too bad.
This trail usually does not have a lot of traffic (unless an annoying meetup group plans an outing here) and has a few nice camp spots. What a lovely place to camp. I spotted a few spots along the river that would make nice swimming holes in the summer. I am not sure if foot traffic here increases over the summer. I am also not sure if you need a permit to camp. If you want to backpack in, you may want to call the ranger station for more information. I only spotted three spots, but there may be more. I thought the farthest one in was the nicest.
As I mentioned before we saw a lot of Trillium blooming and a few other spring flowers. How many pictures of Trillium is too many? You tell me…
Finally some general trail photos, it was so pretty and mossy despite the mud and the rain it was a very nice hike. The sun even came out for a bit, which was very nice.