Hike description: The trek to Camp Handy is on a pretty forest trail beside a river. This is a good hike for families, new hikers and new backpackers, offering a taste of the lush Olympic National Forest.
At one mile there is a junction. The straight ahead trail goes to Royal Basin. Go left across the river. There are camp sites on both sides of the river. Continue up the trail and at 3.4 miles from the trailhead you will reach Camp Handy, a nice lunch or camping spot on the river. The three-sided cedar shingled shelter is a welcome sight on a drizzly day, of which we do have a few in the Pacific Northwest.
Directions: Drive U.S. 101 to Louella Road, which is about 1/4 mile south of Sequim Bay State Park. Turn west on Louella and go to Palo Alto Road. Turn left on Palo Alto, go to Forest Service Road 2880 and turn right. At Forest Service Road 2870 turn left and drive to the trailhead. There are signs for Dungeness Trails at all the intersections from Palo Alto Road on. The trailhead is 17 miles from U.S. 101.
Difficulty rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
Miles round-trip: 6.8
Elevation: 600 feet
Map: Green Trails - Tyler Peak No. 136 or Custom Correct – Gray Wolf-Dosewallips
Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
Also: There is a vault toilet at the trailhead. You should always carry the 10 Essentials on any trip into the wilderness and practice Leave No Trace travel, packing out your trash.
Info: Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal District - Quilcene Office 360-765-2200, www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic/index.shtml; “Olympic Mountains Trail Guide” and “Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula,” both Mountaineers Books.