Wetlands Loop Trail, Bogachiel River Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

Wetlands Loop Trail - 3.0 miles

Bogachiel River Trailhead

The Wetlands Loop Trail cuts through Red alder bottomlands

The Wetlands Loop Trail cuts through Red alder bottomlands

Round-Trip Length: 3.0 miles
Start-End Elevation: 631' - 465' (631' Max Elevation at TH)
Elevation Change: -166' net loss (+225' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Wetlands Loop Trail - 3.0 Miles Round-Trip

The Wetlands Loop Trail offers an easy excursion to the edge of the Bogachiel Rainforest in Olympic National Park.

This loop trail is part of the greater Bogachiel River Trail which runs 28.8 miles one-way from its starting point at the Bogachiel River Trailhead to the Sol Duc Hot Springs area in Olympic National Park.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The entire Wetlands Trail resides within the Olympic National Forest, making it open to dogs, bikes and horses before precluding these liberties at the NPS boundary.

From the Bogachiel River Trailhead, the path immediately drops 150' on switchbacks down to Morgenroth Creek (.18 miles : 478'). A huge dead tree has been turned into a footbridge which aids hikers across the creek.

Past the log bridge, the trail quickly intersects with the Wetlands Trail (.20 miles : 468'). Turn left to begin the loop portion of the hike.

For the next 1.15 miles, the trail remains in the national forest running above an active wetland biome between Morgenroth and Kahkwa Creeks.

Alder bottomlands and vine maple dominate the landscape as the trail slices through a dense understory of dogfern, liverwort and moss drapings

The path meets back up with the Bogachiel River Trail (1.65 : 421') and leads 1.35 miles back to the trailhead (3.0 miles : 631').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 52.911 W124 16.515 — 0.0 miles: Bogachiel River Trailhead
  • N47 52.875 W124 16.355 — 0.2 miles: Wetlands Loop Split - Turn Left
  • N47 52.967 W124 15.066 — 1.45 miles: Turn right onto Bogachiel River Trail
  • N47 52.884 W124 16.397 — 2.85 miles: Cross Morgenroth Creek - Complete the Loop

Worth Noting

  • Bogachiel is a Quileute Indian word meaning - waters that become muddy from rainstorms.
  • The Bogachiel is a Temperate Rainforest and generally sees less visitors than comparable destinations such as the Hoh, Queets and Quinalt areas.
  • Morgenroth Creek is named for Chris Morgenroth (1871 - 1939) a German immigrant who homesteaded in the Bogachiel Rainforest. Morgenroth worked for the National Forest Service, and was pivotal in the establishment of Olympic National Park.
  • The Bogachiel River Trail is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail System - a 1200 mile trail which extends from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean in Washington State.
  • Roosevelt Elk are commonly seen in the Bogachiel Rainforest - they are the largest species of Elk in North America. 
  • The Bogachiel Rainforest is home to "Bogachiel Beth" Rossow - the longest serving volunteer in the NPS - she has lived in and monitored the Bogachiel Backcountry for over 25 years.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Camping is permitted in the Wetlands Loop area. Please contact the Olympic National Forest - Forks Ranger Station (contact information below) for current fees and regulations.

Camping in the National Park

Backcountry Camping is allowed by permit only.

Permits can be obtained in advance at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles, WA, the Forks Ranger Station or self-serve at the NPS Boundary within the Bogachiel Rainforest (1.85 miles from parking area).

Because Bogachiel is a non-quota area, no advance permit is required, however, a permit must be filled out at the National Park Boundary Trailhead (1.85 miles from parking area) if not obtaining one in advance.

Bear Canisters are strongly recommended for the lower and middle Bogachiel River Trail areas and required if backpacking into the Mink Lake or Sol Duc Area.

Fires are not permitted above 3500'.

Questions: contact the Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC) 360.565.3100

Fishing Information

Bogachiel - National Park Fishing Regulations

Bogachiel Fishing Season for all species is June 1st to April 15th.

A Washington State Recreational Fishing License is NOT required to fish in Olympic National Park EXCEPT when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.

A Washington State catch record card is REQUIRED to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in State waters.

Daily Limit on the Bogachiel Rive is the keeping of 2 hatchery steelhead - all other fish are catch and release only.

Artificial lure with barbless single point hook only.

Fishing guides must apply for commercial use authorization to conduct fishing trips in Olympic National Park. Please call 360-565-3007 for an application.

Bogachiel - National Forest Fishing Regulations

National forest fishing regulations abide by state fishing laws. Please contact the Olympic National Forest Forks Ranger station for current seasonal fishing regulations (contact info below).

Rules and Regulations

  • Pets are not permitted in the National Park boundaires of the Bogachiel Rainforest.
  • Camping requires a backcountry permit from the National Forest.
  • No bikes allowed on the Bogachiel River Trail.
  • Please camp at established campsites.
  • No guns or hunting within NPS boundaries.
  • Collecting or defacing artifacts, natural or man-made is a serious crime.

Directions to Trailhead

From Port Angeles, Washington - Drive 52 miles west on Highway 101 to the town of Forks. Stay on Highway 101 through Forks and continue south for 5 miles. Turn left (east) onto Undie Road (directly across the highway from Bogachiel State Park) and drive for 5.6 miles on Undie Road to the Bogachiel River Trailhead and Parking Area.

WARNING NOTE: The last 2 miles of Undie Road are unpaved and prone to gigantic, water filled pot holes. Traditional vehicles can make the drive, however, high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. Please drive with extreme caution.

Contact Information

Olympic National Park

600 East Park Avenue

Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798 

General Park Visitor Information: 360.565.3130

Wilderness and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC): 360.565.3100 

Park Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center: 360.374.6925

Olympic National Forest Contact Information

Forks Information Station: 360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877 

Quinault Wilderness Information Office: 360.288.0232

Pacific Ranger District - Forks
437 Tillicum Lane
Forks, WA 98331
(360) 374 6522
TDD (360) 374 6522
Pacific Ranger District - Quinault
353 South Shore Road
PO Box 9
Quinault, WA 98575
(360) 288 2525
TDD (360) 288 2525

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