Bogachiel River Trail, Bogachiel River Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

Bogachiel River Trail - 11.6 miles

Bogachiel River Trailhead

The Bogachiel River in Olympic National Park

The Bogachiel River in Olympic National Park

Round-Trip Length: 11.6 miles (roundtrip to Snider Jackson Trail intersection)
Start-End Elevation: 631' - 470' (631' max elevation at trailhead)
Elevation Change: -161' net elevation loss (+896' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy-Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Bogachiel River Trail - 11.6 Miles Round-Trip

The Bogachiel River Trail, also referred to as the Bogachiel Rainforest Trail, runs 24.4 miles from the Bogachiel River Trailhead on Undi Road to the Mink Lake Trail intersection in Olympic National Park. It continues east of this point as the Little Divide Trail to the High Divide Trail intersection on Bogachiel Peak.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Bogachiel is a Quillayute word meaning 'waters that become muddy from rainstorms'. The river forms on the slopes of Bogachiel Peak (5,474') and flows west to the Sol Duc River confluence near La Push, where it continues on as the Quillayute River to the ocean.

The following route describes a 5.8 mile segment from the Bogachiel River Trailhead to the Snider-Jackson Trail intersection.

Note: Heavy rains in March 2016 eroded a 350' section of trail approximately one mile from the trailhead. A re-route is under construction:

The trail immediately drops 150' on switchbacks to Morgenroth Creek (.18 miles : 478'), which you'll cross on a large, fitted dead tree to the Wetlands Loop split (.2 miles : 468'). This three mile interpretive loop is a nice alternative to longer day-hikes in the Bogachiel Rainforest.

The trail levels through columns of alder past the Homestead Loop (.30 miles : 447') to Parallel Creek (.75 miles : 422'), which you'll cross to access the river. It now parallels the river until turning inland and crossing Kahkwa Creek (1.5 miles : 403')

The trail officially crosses the Olympic National Park Boundary (1.85 miles : 401') and enters an archetypal old growth rainforest with enormous fir, sitka spruce, hemlock and cedar. It hops a small creek (2.5 miles : 403') and rises above the river on a narrow ledge aided by thick rope. Enjoy aerial views of a wide channel with gravel bars on this steep, muddy incline (3.0 miles 398').

The trail drops back to the river with access to the gravel bars (3.5 miles : 406'), an airy opening that improves chances of seeing elk, river otter and beaver. It soon turns back into the forest where alder give way to giant cedar and fir (4.0 miles : 414').

The next mile runs fast and level through particularly attractive intervals of forest and river bank (5.0 miles - 444'). At 5.5 miles it cuts through a boggy area to the Snider Jackson Trail intersection (5.8 miles : 470').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 52.911 W124 16.515 — 0.0 miles: Bogachiel River Trailhead
  • N47 52.875 W124 16.355 — .2 miles: Wetlands Loop Trail Intersection
  • N47 52.796 W124 16.301 — .3 miles: Homestead Loop Trail Intersection
  • N47 52.755 W124 15.781 — .75 miles: Cross Parallel Creek - 1st River Access Point
  • N47 52.900 W124 15.121 — 1.5 miles: Trail leads away from River into forest
  • N47 52.929 W124 14.838 — 1.85 miles: National Park Service Boundary
  • N47 53.003 W124 14.116 — 2.5 miles: Cross small creek - continue in forest
  • N47 53.064 W124 13.516 — 3.0 miles: River now visible - Large gravel bar
  • N47 53.102 W124 12.899 — 3.5 miles: End of gravel bar area - head back into forest
  • N47 52.996 W124 12.383 — 4.0 miles: Back at River - trees now much larger
  • N47 52.983 W124 11.640 — 4.5 miles: Trail travels near river with access points available
  • N47 53.089 W124 11.056 — 5.0 miles: Continue travel through impressive forest
  • N47 53.003 W124 10.470 — 5.5 miles: Trail runs through interesting bogs
  • N47 53.003 W124 10.470 — 5.8 miles: Intersection with Snider Jackson Trail
  • N47 52 884 W124 09 180 — j

Worth Noting

  • The Bogachiel Rainforest generally sees fewer visitors than the Hoh, Queets and Quinault areas.
  • Numerous creek crossing are required to traverse the Bogachiel River Trail - often ankle or knee deep. Be prepared to get wet.
  •  Morgenroth Creek is named for Chris Morgenroth (1871 - 1939) a German immigrant who homesteaded in the Bogachiel Rainforest. Morgenroth worked for the National Forest Service, and was pivotal in the establishment of Olympic National Park.
  • The Bogachiel River Trail is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail System - a 1200 mile trail which extends from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean in Washington State.
  • Roosevelt Elk are commonly seen in the Bogachiel Rainforest - they are the largest species of Elk in North America. 
  • The Bogachiel Rainforest is home to "Bogachiel Beth" Rossow - the longest serving volunteer in the NPS - she has lived in and monitored the Bogachiel Backcountry for over 25 years.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Backcountry Camping is allowed by permit only.

Permits can be obtained in advance at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles, WA, the Forks Ranger Station or self-serve at the NPS Boundary within the Bogachiel Rainforest (1.85 miles from parking area).

Because Bogachiel is a non-quota area, no advance permit is required, however, a permit must be filled out at the National Park Boundary Trailhead (1.85 miles from parking area) if not obtaining one in advance.

Bear Canisters are strongly recommended for the lower and middle Bogachiel River Trail areas and required if backpacking into the Mink Lake or Sol Duc Area.

Fires are not permitted above 3500'.

Questions: contact the Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC) 360.565.3100

Fishing Information

Bogachiel Fishing Season for all species is June 1st to April 15th.

A Washington State Recreational Fishing License is NOT required to fish in Olympic National Park EXCEPT when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.

A Washington State catch record card is REQUIRED to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in State waters.

Daily Limit on the Bogachiel Rive is the keeping of 2 hatchery steelhead - all other fish are catch and release only.

Artificial lure with barbless single point hook only.

Fishing guides must apply for commercial use authorization to conduct fishing trips in Olympic National Park. Please call 360-565-3007 for an application.

Rules and Regulations

  • Pets are not permitted in the National Park boundaires of the Bogachiel Rainforest.
  • Camping requires a backcountry permit.
  • No bikes allowed on the Bogachiel River Trail.
  • Camp only at established campsites.
  • No guns or hunting within NPS boundaries.

Directions to Trailhead

From Port Angeles, Washington - Drive 52 miles west on Highway 101 to the town of Forks. Stay on Highway 101 through Forks and continue south for 5 miles. Turn left (east) onto Undie Road (directly across the highway from Bogachiel State Park) and drive for 5.6 miles on Undie Road to the Bogachiel River Trailhead and Parking Area.

NOTE: The last 2 miles of Undie Road are unpaved and prone to deep, water filled pot holes. 2WD vehicles can make the drive, however, high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended.

Contact Information

Olympic National Park

600 East Park Avenue

Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798 

General Park Visitor Information: 360.565.3130

Wilderness and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC): 360.565.3100 

Park Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center: 360.374.6925

Forks Information Station: 360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877 

Quinault Wilderness Information Office: 360.288.0232

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"The Bogachiel River Trail is pretty chewed up right now. There are a number of trees down and you'll have to figure out how to get around some of the big ones and regain the trail, which is faint / awash in places. The Bogachiel doesn't get the traffic that the Hoh does, so hiker paths around obstacles are primitive at best. Tree limbs are scattered pretty much everywhere, and many look fresh as if a lot of this damage happened recently. Be careful along short stretches that run right along the edge of the river bank - I can't imagine they're very stable after all the rain. Expect to wade through standing water on the trail and across a number of fairly swift creeks."
J. Evans  -  Port Townsend  -  Date Posted: April 1, 2017


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