Hike description: If you've hiked to Camp Handy and wondered what was farther down the trail, have a quick first lunch at the Camp Handy shelter and then head down the trail.
From the trailhead, it’s an easy hike through enchanting forest along the river.
At one mile from the trailhead, you will come to the junction with the Royal Basin trail (straight). You will go left across the river, passing campsites on both sides of the river.
At 3.4 miles from the trailhead, you will reach Camp Handy, a nice camping spot with a shelter on the river.
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Beyond Camp Handy, the trail starts climbing and goes another three miles and 2,450 feet of elevation gain.
You’ll find another shelter and campsites here at the junction with the Marmot Pass trail.
This is your second lunch and turnaround point after a nap of appropriate duration to soak up the wilderness and recoup for your trek downhill and back out along the river.
Directions: Drive U.S. 101 north to Louella Road, which is about 1/4 mile before Sequim Bay State Park. Turn left 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: 4 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
Miles round-trip: 12.8
Elevation: 2,450 feet
Best time of year: June to October
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. Practice Leave No Trace and pack out all your own trash. For all wilderness travel always remember to carry the 10 Essentials, your “possibilities kit” for the things that could possibly happen.
Info: For road and trail information: 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 the Olympic Peninsula,” both Mountaineers Books.
Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee.