comScore
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase 3 picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase 2 picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase 3 picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase 2 picture in Olympic National Park

Details

  • Hiking, Recreation Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.1
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Staircase, located in the southeastern corner of Olympic National Park, is dominated by enormous Douglas firs. You'll find a variety of hiking trails along the Skokomish River and the nearby forests. The Staircase Rapids Loop Trail is an easy 2-mile path that leads visitors through old-growth forest to a bridge over the North Fork Skokomish River, with only a 200-foot elevation gain. A spur trail leads to a huge fallen cedar. There's also the flat Shady Lane Trail, which measures less than a mile and takes visitors to Lake Cushman. If you're looking for more of a challenge, consider the 7½-mile hike to Flapjack Lakes, which boasts a 3,000-foot elevation.

Several recent visitors said the short trails were great for beginners and families with young kids. If you're visiting in summer, several reviewers also recommended bringing your swimsuit to take advantage of several swimming spots along the trails. 

Access to the area is included in park admission. Staircase is about a one-hour drive north of Olympia and two hours south of Port Angeles. There's a ranger station that is open in summer (when staffing allows) with information, exhibits, wilderness permits, bear canisters and maps. You'll find a campground here as well. The access road to the Staircase area is unpaved is sometimes closed due to hazardous weather conditions, such as snow. Make sure to check the park's website to check the road's current status.

Powered by Viator

More Best Things to Do in Olympic National Park

Hoh Rain Forest picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Hurricane Ridge picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Beaches, Hiking, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Lake Crescent picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Rialto Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Beaches, Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Sol Duc Valley picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Visitor Center picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Recreation, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park
Hiking, Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
|

#1 Hoh Rain Forest With an annual rainfall ranging from 140 to 170 inches, the Hoh Rain Forest is a lush, green wonderland, with mosses and ferns covering every tree and surface. According to ... Read more » James Randklev / Getty Images

#2 Hurricane Ridge Hurricane Ridge is located 17 miles south of Port Angeles and is the most easily accessed mountain area within the park. In clear weather, it offers amazing views. In fact ... Read more » Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

#3 Kalaloch and Ruby Beach Kalaloch, located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park. The marine environment and offshore islands are protected by ... Read more » Steve Johnson / Getty Images

#4 Lake Crescent Formed thousands of years ago, this crystal-clear, glacially carved lake has depths of up to 624 feet in places. As the ice retreated, it left behind a steep valley that ... Read more » Jeff Kendall / EyeEm / Getty Images

#5 Mora and Rialto Beach Rialto Beach, which sits about 40 miles southwest of Lake Crescent and about 70 miles from Port Angeles, offers dramatic coastal scenery and is a great place to look for ... Read more » Image by David Gregg / Getty Images

#6 Sol Duc Valley The Sol Duc Valley, located in the northwest region of the park, offers several trails to explore, but probably the most popular is the mile-long hike to the Sol Duc ... Read more » Michael Riffle / Getty Images

#7 Olympic National Park Main Visitor Center and Wilderness Information Center According to recent visitors, this should be your first stop in the park. Found in Port Angeles, Washington, the center houses exhibits about Olympic National Park's natural and cultural ... Read more » Jasperdo / Flickr

#8 Staircase Staircase, located in the southeastern corner of Olympic National Park, is dominated by enormous Douglas firs. You'll find a variety of hiking trails along the Skokomish River and the ... Read more » Cory Maccarrone / Getty Images

Hoh Rain Forest picture in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent picture in Olympic National Park
Rialto Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Valley picture in Olympic National Park
Visitor Center picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park
Hoh Rain Forest picture in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent picture in Olympic National Park
Rialto Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Valley picture in Olympic National Park
Visitor Center picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park

The Hoh Rain Forest is an enchanting place to explore. James Randklev / Getty Images

The visitor center at Hurricane Ridge offers stunning views. Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

Kalaloch is one of the most visited areas of the park. And after taking one look at the coastal scenery, it's easy to see why. Steve Johnson / Getty Images

Lake Crescent is crystal clear and has depths of up to 624 feet. Jeff Kendall / EyeEm / Getty Images

Rialto Beach offers dramatic coastal views. Image by David Gregg / Getty Images

A spawning salmon jumps into the rapids of the Sol Duc River. Michael Riffle / Getty Images

Jasperdo / Flickr

Several hiking trails in the Staircase area of the park take travelers along the picturesque Skokomish River. Cory Maccarrone / Getty Images

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Olympic National Park »

Explore More of Olympic National Park

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo