Snider Jackson Trail - Rugged Ridge, Snider Jackson - Rugged Ridge Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Snider Jackson Trail - Rugged Ridge - 12.2 miles
Snider Jackson - Rugged Ridge Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||12.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,175' - 470' (1,685' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-705' net loss (+2850' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Snider Jackson Trail - Rugged Ridge - 12.2 Miles Round-Trip
The Snider Jackson Trail offers a desirable, alternative route to enter the lower Bogachiel River Valley. Also referred to as the Rugged Ridge Trail, the National Park officially changed the name back to the Snider Jackson Trail to honor the original history of the route.
From the trailhead, the trail rises though a dense understory of deer fern and wood sorrel kept dimly lit by a thick forest canopy of Douglas fir, Western hemlock and Giant cedar trees.
The path quickly meets up with the NPS Boundary (.35 : 1,313') marked by a backcountry self-registration board with general park information posted.
For the next mile, the trail undulates across Rugged Ridge, showcasing enormous Douglas fir and Western hemlock trees while cutting across scenic drainages painted with small cascades (1.0 miles : 1,369').
Rising to its crest (1.5 miles : 1,685'), the trail now begins a steep descent, dropping almost 1000' through an old growth forest (2.35 miles : 1,294') to its intersection with the south fork of the Calawah River (2.8 miles : 790'). Fir and cedar trees are particularly large along this stretch, highlighting some of the biggest arboreal denizens of the park.
As no bridge is provided over the Calawah, a river ford is required. If ability allows, ford the river carefully then walk upstream (left) 100 yards past heavy river debris to continue on the Snider Jackson Trail.
Past the Calawah river, a moderate ascent begins to Indian Pass (4.0 miles: 1,110') before leveling out and dropping again to the bottomlands of the Bogachiel River Valley (5.0 miles : 963'). Open pockets of sky are common along this stretch affording rare views through the thick forest canopy.
The trail begins to level out as it rolls to its terminus at the Bogachiel River Trail (6.1 miles : 470').
A narrow foot path leads directly south for .1 miles from the trail's terminus to the Bogachiel River.
- N47 56.283 W124 10.062 — 0.0 miles: Snider Jackson Trailhead
- N47 56.167 W124 10.121 — .35 miles: NPS Boundary - Backcountry Self Register
- N47 55.870 W124 10.017 — 1.0 miles: Undulating ascent through old growth forest
- N47 55.426 W124 09.999 — 1.5 miles: Crest of Trail 1685' elevation
- N47 55.040 W124 09.977 — 2.35 miles: View of Calawah River Valley
- N47 55.013 W124 09.450 — 2.8 miles: Ford Calawah River
- N47 54.620 W124 09.895 — 3.5 miles: Rising from Calawah River on gradual ascent
- N47 54.389 W124 10.121 — 4.0 miles: Trail levels out before descent to Bogachiel River Valley
- N47 53.977 W124 10.139 — 4.5 miles: Start of descent into Bogachiel Valley
- N47 53.607 W124 10.208 — 5.0 miles: Continue descent to Bogachiel River
- N47 53.281 W124 10.092 — 5.5 miles: Continue descent to Bogachiel River
- N47 52.983 W124 10.163 — 6.1 miles: Terminus of Snider Jackson Trail
- Also known as Rugged Ridge, the official name of this trail and trailhead is Snider Jackson.
- The Snider Jackson Trail dead ends into the Bogachiel River Trail - forming a nice 11.9 mile thru-hike from the Snider Jackson Trailhead to the Bogachiel River Trailhead.
- Roosevelt Elk are commonly seen along the Snider Jackson Trail and wtihin the Bogachiel Valley.
- A small foot trail leads from the terminus of the Snider Jackson Trail to the Bogachiel River.
- Mountain lion, bobcat and bear are known to inhabit the Rugged Ridge section of the Snider Jackson Trail but are less prevalant on the Bogachiel River Trail.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Backcountry camping is permitted.
Permits can be obtained in advance at the Forks Ranger Station or Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles, WA.
Campers can aslo self-register onsite at the Backcountry Self-Registration Station at the NPS boundary .35 miles from the Snider Jackson - Rugged Ridge Trailhead.
Fishing is permitted on the Calawah and Bogachiel rivers.
License: No license is required to fish within the National Park, however, a catch card is required when fishing for salmon or steelhead.
Catch and release only except 2 hatchery steelhead can be kept. All other species must be returned.
Hatchery steelhead can be identified by a healed scar where the adipose or ventral fins have been removed.
Artificial lures with single barbless hooks only - NO BAIT ALLOWED.
Call for current season dates - seasons generally run:
South Fork Calawah River (all species): June 1 - October 31
Bogachiel River (all species): June 1 - April 15 of following year
For complete regulations, please call the Wilderness Information Center.
Rules and Regulations
- Pets are not permitted in the National Park boundaires.
- Camping requires a backcountry permit.
- No bikes allowed.
- 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 downtown Forks, take Highway 101 North (towards Port Angeles) to Mile Marker 193.2 on Highway 101 and turn right (east) on Forest Service Road 29. Drive for 8.5 miles then bear right at the unamrked major road split. Drive for 2.2 miles until the next unmarked road split and bear right once again. Drive 2.1 miles until the road dead ends into the trailhead. All road splits are unmarked as is the trailhead area.
From Port Angeles, take Highway 101 south (towards Forks) to Mile Marker 193.2 on Highway 101 and turn left (east) on Forest Service Road 29. Drive for 8.5 miles then bear right at the unamrked major road split. Drive for 2.2 miles until the next unmarked road split and bear right once again. Drive 2.1 miles until the road dead ends into the trailhead. All road splits are unmarked as is the trailhead area
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
Quinault Wilderness Information Office: 360.288.0232