Lake Cushman/ Staircase Rapids/ Copper Creek Trail


Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 8.26.02 PMI wanted to see a different part of Olympic National Park then I had seen before, so I suggested we head over to the Lake Cushman area (indicated by the drop point above). You have to go down and around the water and go back up north to get to this area of the peninsula. It takes just a little over 2 hours from Seattle. So myself and two friends (Dorris & Amy) headed out bright and early to make this trek.

We started with the hike Staircase Rapids. I had seen many photos of this before and wanted to see it for myself. Washington Trails website says this hike is 4 miles round trip, but a sign there said 2, so we did something in-between that. Not really sure. It was a flat hike that had one major obstacle of a huge tree down that we had to navigate off path for. Then you get to this giant bridge that crosses the river. I really love bridges in forests so I was ooing and awhing over this one. The water was so blue in this area. There is a campsite right off the river that would be a lovely place to stay. We got back to the car after about an hour and a half and then headed to our next destination.

After a picnic in the car, we did Copper Creek next. There was probably a couple other options in the area but glancing at it on WTA, it seemed not too hard. Well I am still learning the ratio of elevation gain/miles and WTA said 5 miles roundtrip and 2400 elevation gain. I’ve done a lot of hikes comparable and didn’t think anything of it. This hike was straight incline the whole time. I don’t think I have done a hike that was this steep ever. We struggled hard core the whole way up. It felt like it would never end. We finally reached the top and unfortunately, there wasn’t very good clearings of the views around. We saw a little section of the Olympics to our north, but I really hoped to have a good view of Lake Cushman to our south. We headed back down and over all it took us 3hr 20 minutes total.

Overall the area is gorgeous, but when I go back to visit this park I would love to go back and explore more of Hurricane ridge/ Hoh rainforest and the coast.



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