Staircase Trail to Big Log Camp

North Fork Skokomish River - Olympic National Park

 

OCTOBER 11 - 12, 2008    It was 39 and sunny when we started from the trailhead for this fall backpack trip.  The trail travels alongside the North Fork of the Skokomish River, wandering through old growth forest, groves of alder and patches of maple trees.  Views are limited but the woods are very pretty, and signs of fall were everywhere.  We set up camp at Big Log Camp, then two of us headed up the way trail towards Black and White Lakes.   This trail lives up to its reputation and gave me a whole new understanding of the word steep.  The trail climbs rapidly through open woods, providing some views of the surrounding peaks.  It was obvious before we reached the half-way point that we would not make it to the lakes and back before dark, so we conceded defeat and returned to Big Log Camp for dinner. 

Night comes early at this time of year, especially in these dense woods.  We were unable to coax a fire to start in this damp environment, so we headed off to our tents shortly after dark.  After breakfast we hiked through colorful woods to Nine Stream Camp.  The footbridge over Nine Stream provided a dry, sunny lunch spot before we turned back to break camp and hike back out. 

11 miles roundtrip to Big Log Camp, 500' gain

2 miles roundtrip (approximately) on the Black and White way trail, 1000' gain

6 miles roundtrip from Big Log Camp to Nine Stream Camp, 500' gain