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Notch Pass Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (1)

Nice entryway into the Olympic National Forest.


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Map Key

3.9

Miles

6.3

KM

Point to Point

2,354' 718 m

High

748' 228 m

Low

1,665' 507 m

Up

828' 253 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Need to Know

There are multiple ways to access the trail. To get to the lower trailhead turn onto Penny Creek Road from Highway 101. After about 1.5 miles the pavement ends and you'll come to a fork. Stay left and continue half mile on Forest Road 27. Take the first right you see onto Road 010 (unmarked). Continue on for 1.4 miles to the trailhead. The road has deep potholes, but should be passable for most passenger cars. The lower trailhead only has room for 3 cars max and the road is too narrow and steep to park along the side. If it's full you'll have to go to one of the upper parking lots. Head back and take a right onto Forest Road 27 and continue for about 7.5 miles where there will be a much larger parking area on the left. No passes are required at either trailhead.

Description

Constructed in the 1930's by Civilian Conservation Corps the Notch Pass Trail is a 4.3 moderately trafficked north-eastern entryway into the Olympic National Forest. Starting from the lower trailhead the trail is a smooth and steep as it steadily climbs 1600 feet through switchbacks up to the pass. There's not much for views on your way to the pass, but the quiet forest setting is well worth the effort.

At the pass you'll come to the first of two road crossings. The trail continues just across at the first road crossing, but at the second one you'll need to take a right and hike along the road for about 20 yards or so before connecting back to the trail on your left. From here it's all downhill through narrow trail and river crossings as you approach the intersection of the Lower Big Quilcene Trail. The trail has many rocks and roots in this section so be sure to watch your footing and take your time.

The trail is best done as an out and back. Near the western terminus of the trail on the Lower Big Quilcene Trail is the Bark Shanty campsite which you can use for rest and continue onto longer adventures.

Shared By:

Terrence Beach Jr

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1501

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#84

in Washington

#1,501

Overall
11 Views Last Month
743 Since Jul 30, 2021
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Sign for Notch Pass Trailhead
Jun 29, 2021 near Quilcene, WA
Old fallen trees at the crossing Townsend Creek by Notch Pass Trail.
Jun 29, 2021 near Quilcene, WA

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Check-Ins

May 13, 2019
Beth Miller
Road to the trail has some VERY large/wide potholes. Recommend a vehicle that doesn't have low clearance. Nice hike, trail in good condition. 8.8mi — 3h 39m
Apr 17, 2019
Scott Lane
Jul 30, 2017
Bill Iyall