Ranger Hole –Hike to a Historic fishing spot on the Duckabush

Quick Facts:

Location: Olympic Peninsula

Land Agency: Olympic National Forest

Round Trip: 1.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 250 feet

Contact: Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District,

Green Trails Map: Green Trails Olympic Mountains East 168S

Notes: Northwest Forest Pass required; Be sure to respect the privacy of any guests who may be staying in the cabin while you’re visiting

Access: From Quilcene, drive south on US 101 for 15.5 miles turning right onto the Duckabush Road (From Shelton, drive north on US 101 for 37 miles turning left onto the Duckabush Road). Then drive 3.6 miles to trailhead at the Interrorem Cabin.

Good to Know: dog-friendly (on-leash), kid-friendly, historic, snow-free winter hikes, practice Leave No Trace principles

This short oft-overlooked trail leads to, not along, the Duckabush River—stoking your anticipation as it cuts its way through a dense forest delivering you to an exposed ledge above the tumbling and churning river. But before you make a beeline to the river, a little history lesson is in order. Start by admiring the Interrorem Cabin. Built in 1907, this structure is the oldest Forest Service dwelling on the Olympic Peninsula. Interrorem served as a ranger station, a base for Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps workers, and a fire guard station. Currently it’s rented out (www.recreation.gov) by the Forest Service for the public to use overnight. Be sure to respect the privacy of any guests who may be staying in the cabin while you’re visiting.

The first overnighter at Interrorem was Ranger Emery Finch. Mr. Finch, an avid fisherman, was responsible for building the Ranger Hole Trail—a path to his favorite fishing hole on the Duckabush. The trail leads 0.8 mile to that revered spot. Through mature second growth (cut circa Finch’s tenure) the good path climbs a little hump then makes a slow descent toward the river. As the Duckabush’s roar becomes more audible, the trail makes a steep drop—and then emerges at the famed fishing spot.

While the fishing isn’t what it used to be, you’ll still catch some good views of the river. The Duckabush crashes through a narrow chasm here. Frothy gurgling waters crash up against the narrow cleft. Be sure to keep children and dogs nearby while admiring this landmark. On your return, take the 0.3-mile interpretive loop for more information on the Interrorem Cabin and the Ranger Hole.

 

The Ranger Hole is one of 136 featured hikes in my fully updated and expanded Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula 2nd Edition (Mountaineers Book). For more details on this hike and others (including many not found in other guides), pick up a copy of this book—the number one selling and most trusted guidebook on hiking in the Olympics—today!

For information on where to stay and on other things to do on the Olympic Peninsula, check out Northwest TripFinder

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