Spruce Railroad Trail Hike Olympic National Park

Hike Distance: 8.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 338 feet

I wasn’t feeling very good after a rough night with stomach issues so we decided to hike the Spruce RR trail, that runs parallel with Lake Crescent.  We were going to shorten the vacation but my doctor was able to prescribe medication for pickup in Sequim. 🙂

We’ve done this hike before so we knew what to expect and it was just what the doctor ordered.  The Spruce RR trail is just another section of the Olympic Discovery Trail, but is mostly unpaved in the area we hiked.  We parked along the Camp David Junior road on the north side of Lake Crescent.

We cut into the trail by climbing the bank next to the road to reach this paved section of the Olympic Discovery Trail.  For an approximate 1.5 miles the trail was paved, until we reached some fencing and a construction sign, where it transitioned to dirt.  The sign, from a distance, makes you think the trail will be closed immediately, but reading it indicates there is another 3 miles before closure.  We didn’t go far enough to see the trail closure.  I’m sure some info can be found online about the status and reason for closure, but we didn’t check as it was a last minute decision.

The portion of the trail we hiked, which essentially cuts around Pyramid Mountain, is extremely scenic.  There are plenty of views of Lake Crescent, which looked amazing with the low clouds and rain.  There is also an old unfinished RR tunnel, but we don’t go in due to possible collapse, but it’s interesting to see.  Unfortunately, someone drew some graffiti near the entrance that was distracting. 😦   The trail also goes through some small  slides (passable) and sculpts against the lake in some rocky areas.  It’s a truly beautiful trail section that has no resemblance to a rails-to-trails, and is a must see.  Nobody was on the trail during our hike!!! 🙂

By the way, at the construction sign there is a sign below it mentioning Devil’s punchbowl.  This is an amazing bridge that spans over the water and is anchored into rock at both ends.  Truly amazing and worth the hike by itself, but it’s probably popular during tourist season.  We’ve seen people going there in swim trunks to dive in the water, which is probably ice cold?



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