Olympic Mountains

Duckabush River

Length: 12 miles
Low Point: 400'
High Point: 4300'
Season: All Year
Scenery: 5/5

Difficulty: 5/5

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From Brinnon, drive north on Highway 101 to Duckabush Road (FR 2510), located at milepost 310. Turn west and drive six miles to the well-signed trailhead.

Trail Description

This nice trail follows the Duckabush River through an impressive old-growth valley filled with enormous Cedars and Douglas Firs. The trail provides access to O’Neal Pass, Lake LaCrosse (with close up views of Mt. Duckabush), and Anderson Pass. Several longer trips are possible by connecting the trail to the Quinalt or Dosewallips Rivers.


I backpacked into the LaCrosse Basin from the Duckabush River last August. The river trail itself is beautiful, wild, but not necessarily rugged. Glimpses of mtn peaks like "The Brothers, Mount Elk Lick or Mount Steel are few and far between down in the valley. The only difficult section was around Big Hump where several hundred feet of elevation is gained and then lost again. However, once the ford of the Duckabush has been made, about 19 miles down the trail, views open up! Heading towards Marmot Lake the buttresses of White Mtn and Mt. LaCrosse rise on the north side of the valley in rugged green splendor. Beautiful cascades come down to the south off of Mt Steel, a promise of higher country and better views. The trail up to Marmot Lake is fairly streneous, made more so by the long distance hiking before hand. Just beneath Marmot Lake a view opens up of Mt's Duckabush and Steel overlooking the head of the Duckabush River Valley. The whole LaCrosse Basin is simply magnificent as well and I would highly recommend this hike to someone who wants to get away from crowds. I spent an entire weekend there by myself, not a soul at Lake LaCrosse. One of the best scenic areas in the United States.
2005-03-16 18:21:15
This is a great hike from the east side of Olympic National Park. It is a nice rainforest once you get deep into the valley but it is second growth for the first portion. I would recommend trying to combine this trail with another river valley and use a shuttle. We just went up and back.
2004-04-17 00:38:25