Bogachiel River Hike - A taste of thru-hiking

Daniel Collins

A Bogachiel River hike from Olympic ridges above the Sol Duc Hot Springs down to the trail head near the city of Forks is a great journey through one of our wettest temperate rainforests. Bring well-sealed boots and bug spray.

I had my Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA) youth crew working the Lower Bogachiel trail last week. Their project was all lowland drainage work, typical of this area and all within 2 miles of the lower trail head. Other trails near the trail head flair off of the main stem of the Bogie as it is known locally. The Forest Service has developed these trails as the: Wetland and the Morganroth Homestead Trails with financial assistance from the Ira Spring Trust and help from volunteers and the PNTA with a view toward demonstrating the cultural and natural values in this rainforest. These both are simple dayhikes.

The hike-able length of Bogie is 20 miles and this is better spent on a backpacking trip. While at work in the cool chlorophyll-colored valley of tall alder and sitka spruce, we had many visitors inspecting our trail work – backpackers, fishermen, and not surprisingly another trail crew. Because the Bogie directly faces the Pacific coastline it gets hammered with winter storms that pour their power down this long river valley inundating it with creek flow and tossing trees across trail tread. Currently, there are 50 plus trees down and over the trail. It therefore is in frequent need of TLC from trail crews like ours. The Bogie is part of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail – PNNST and is the last high point for long distance thru hikers on their way to Cape Alava from Montana.

A few important notes for the hiker: bug activity is about midpoint for the summer, lots of mosquitoes at the moment. The Bogie river valley is 20 miles of easy hiking within a compact valley, but if you choose to make it a one way, I recommend starting at Sol Duc Hot Springs, hiking up to the Low Divide subalpine elevation of 4,000’ and then putting your legs into cruise control down the river valley – there are a few 3-sided shelters on the way to get in out of the rain. You won’t find as many hikers on this trail as on the Hoh or Quinault. Finally, if you wait until September for your hike you are likely find a choice supply of wild mushrooms on throughout.

Daniel Collins

Regional Coordinator Olympic Region
Pacific Northwest Trail Association

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Pacific Northwest Trail Association

Pacific Northwest Trail Association

2 thoughts on “Bogachiel River Hike - A taste of thru-hiking

  1. Steve gerling

    I’m going to be doing some backpacking/fishing on the west side of the peninsula June 10-17. I’m looking for suggestions to marry the best of two worlds. Basically want to hike until I get tired, then fish for steelhead? Salmon? Trout? Then hike to a new spot when I get tired of that. My vague plan is to pick a river, go to the trailhead and go. No longer in my backpacking prime, so not looking for a back breaker; quality of fishing pretty important. Was thinking the Bogachiel but don’t really know pros and cons. Suggestions?

  2. 512MBpc Post author

    Bret is out backpacking in the Olympics right now but will reply to you when he returns.
    Best wishes from ExploreOlympics!

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