The Olympic Adventure Trail (OAT) is a 25-mile long, out and back route from the Elwha River to Lake Crescent for mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians. The mostly all-dirt trail runs through quiet, old growth forests with breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and the Straight of Juan De Fuca.
A while back we told you about the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). The ODT is a 130-mile long public path crossing the Olympic Peninsula from the city of Port Townsend to the beach at La Push. The Olympic Adventure Trail offers an alternate route for one leg of the ODT; between the Elwha River and Lake Crescent.
The main differences between the two routes are difficulty and traffic. The Olympic Discovery Trail is mostly paved and built at railroad grade. It’s also a popular trail and fairly well traveled, year ’round.
The Olympic Adventure Trail, on the other hand, is a well-maintained, all-dirt trail over hilly, forested terrain. The trail was built by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Chain Gang for double and single track riding. This more challenging route is also newer and lesser known than the ODT, meaning a lot less traffic.
Getting Out On the Olympic Adventure Trail
Access to the OAT depends on where you want to start.
To reach the west OAT trailhead, head east from Manitou Lodge on Highway 101 towards Lake Crescent. Follow 101 around the lake, taking a left on East Beach Rd just past Log Cabin Resort. Look for the parking lot. The OAT shares this trailhead with the Olympic National Park East Beach Trail.
The eastern OAT trailhead is a small parking area located on the west side of Highway 112, a quarter mile past the Elwha River Bridge on Highway 112.
There no fees to use the Olympic Adventure Trail. There are some campgrounds around Lake Crescent and ample opportunities for swimming in the lake’s crystal clear waters. The trail is well maintained and usable year round, though it can get muddy in winter.
Learn more about the Olympic Adventure Trail online at the Olympic Discovery Trail website.
Olympic Peninsula Playground
Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is an unparalleled paradise of outdoor adventure. Whether you’re here to surf, hike, bike, climb, paddle, run, ride, or relax, you’ve come to the right place.