Queets River Trail to Smith Place

The day after our epic West Fork Humptulips hike, Craig and I headed over to the Queets River valley to see about hiking the Queets River Trail up to the old Smith place. I wasn't really sure what I was in for since I had never forded a river as large as the Queets before but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be and we ended up fording it 4 times. I admit that I was nervous crossing it the first time. As far as difficulty fording the river, it probably helped that we were in a serious drought year. The Queets can be difficult to cross if it is flowing strong. I don't have a lot to say about this hike other than the trail was in great shape and very flat. Easy miles to be had here, at least the portion we hiked. Some really nice old growth and very green and lush. It is a rain forest after all. I recorded that we did close to 15 miles, but after the messing around with the fords and exploring the Smith Place, it was probably closer to 13 or 14 miles.

Oh, almost forgot to mention the big Paradise Fire was going on further up in the valley. The Park Service had the trail closed at Bob Creek but we would only be covering about half that trail distance. We were lucky with the wind direction and had no smoke to deal with.

 

Paradise fire had the trail closed at Bob Creek
Saw this guy right before we forded the river
Craig taking notes right after fording the river at the beginning of the hike.
After the daunting river ford, you are greeted with this welcoming sign
Craig posing with his WTA hikeathon mascot
Queets River
Craig leading the way. I was surprised at how much tall grass there was. My allergies were really bothering me through here.
Lush and flat
Flat rainforest trail.
The beginning of the meadow to the old Andrews Homestead.

 

These thistles were growing wild all over the meadow
Old Andrews homestead meadow
Craig crossing the old Andrews homestead meadow. We did not see any evidence of the old homestead other than non native black berry bushes and other weeds. My allergies did not appreciate all the dry grass.
Everything was just so green and lush
Amazing moss covered rainforest trees
Craig taking in the sights.
Spruce Bottom Camp
A beautiful alder forest
What is left of the Smith Place.
What is left of the Smith Place.
Meadow at the Smith Place
Some old piece of furniture rusting away at the former Smith homestead.
Craig searching for remnants of old trail at the Smith Place.
Craig searching for remnants of old trail at the Smith Place.
Queets River
A sandy shore on the Queets River near the Spruce Bottom Camp. I would be tempted to set my tent right there on the sandy beach.
We followed a flagged route out to the river from the main trail near what is known as the Lower Tshletshy Ford. When we got there we found a box of MREs and a case of water. We figured it was left there for the firefighters that were further up the valley fighting the Paradise Fire.
We followed a flagged route out to the river from the main trail near what is known as the Lower Tshletshy Ford. When we got out to the gravel bar on the river, we found a box of MREs and a case of water. We figured it was left there for the firefighters that were further up the valley fighting the Paradise Fire.
Craig taking a moment to reflect on the day so far near the lower ford.
Craig taking a moment to reflect on the day so far near the lower ford.
Looking up at Kloochman Rock from the Andrews Homestead meadow on the return hike.
Looking up at Kloochman Rock from the Andrews Homestead meadow on the return hike. The former lookout site was not visible earlier in the day since it had been so overcast.
Just miles and miles of this beautiful flat trail.
Checking out what's left of the old Smith Place. Photo courtesy - Craig Romano
Taking a lunch break at the old Smith Place. Photo courtesy - Craig Romano
Fording the Queets. Photo courtesy - Craig Romano

Out and back was about 15 miles. Practically 0' elevation gain.

Click here to learn more about Craig Romano and some of the books he has written.

Click here to view other hikes I've done with Craig.

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