Skookum Flats Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Skookum Flats Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: United States Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Skookum Flats Trail is a historic trail located in the Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, United States. The trail has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when it was first established. Originally used by Native American tribes for hunting and gathering, the trail later became an important transportation route for early settlers and loggers in the region.

In the early 1900s, the Skookum Flats Trail was primarily used by loggers to transport timber from the surrounding forests. The trail provided a crucial link between the logging camps and the nearby rivers, where the logs were floated downstream to mills. The trail was known for its challenging terrain, with steep slopes, dense forests, and rocky sections, making it a demanding route for the loggers and their horses.

As the logging industry grew in the area, the Skookum Flats Trail became increasingly important for the transportation of goods and supplies. It served as a lifeline for the remote communities and logging camps, enabling them to access essential resources and connect with the outside world. Over time, the trail was improved and maintained to accommodate the growing demand, with bridges constructed over creeks and rivers, and sections widened to accommodate wagons and later, vehicles.

Today, the Skookum Flats Trail stands as a testament to the region’s logging history and the resilience of the early settlers. It offers hikers and outdoor enthusiasts a glimpse into the past, allowing them to traverse the same path that was once vital for the economic development of the area. The trail’s historical significance, combined with its scenic beauty and challenging terrain, continues to attract visitors from near and far, providing a unique experience that blends nature and history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Skookum Flats Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Skookum Flats Trail. It is located off Forest Road 73, near the town of Greenwater, Washington.

2. White River Campground: This campground is located near the Skookum Flats Trailhead and serves as an access point for the trail. It provides parking and facilities for hikers.

3. Buck Creek Campground: Another campground located near the Skookum Flats Trailhead, Buck Creek Campground offers parking and facilities for hikers accessing the trail.

4. Sun Top Lookout: This is a popular access point for the Skookum Flats Trail. It is located off Forest Road 7315 and provides parking for hikers.

5. Dalles Campground: Located near the Sun Top Lookout, Dalles Campground serves as an access point for the Skookum Flats Trail. It offers parking and facilities for hikers.

6. Norse Peak Wilderness: The Skookum Flats Trail passes through the Norse Peak Wilderness, providing multiple access points for hikers. These access points may not have designated trailheads but can be accessed from various forest roads within the wilderness area.

7. Deep Creek Campground: This campground is located near the Norse Peak Wilderness and provides access to the Skookum Flats Trail. It offers parking and facilities for hikers.

8. Corral Pass Road: This forest road provides access to the Skookum Flats Trail from the north. It is located off State Route 410 and offers parking for hikers.

9. Camp Sheppard: Located near the Corral Pass Road, Camp Sheppard serves as an access point for the Skookum Flats Trail. It provides parking and facilities for hikers.

10. Federation Forest State Park: This state park is located near the Skookum Flats Trail and offers access to the trail. It provides parking and facilities for hikers.

Transportation Available

1. Skookum Flats Trailhead Parking Lot – Convenient parking area for hikers accessing Skookum Flats Trail.
2. Enumclaw Taxi – Local taxi service providing transportation in and around the Skookum Flats Trail area.
3. Uber – Ride-sharing service available for transportation to and from Skookum Flats Trail.
4. Lyft – Another ride-sharing service offering transportation options near Skookum Flats Trail.
5. Enumclaw Trailhead Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically catering to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Skookum Flats Trail.


The amenities available at the Skookum Flats Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas or parking lots near the trailhead for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail may offer designated camping sites or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up their tents or RVs for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy outdoor meals and relax.

5. Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead may have additional amenities such as information boards, maps, benches, or interpretive signs to enhance the visitor experience.

6. Water Sources: Depending on the trail’s location, there might be natural water sources like rivers, streams, or lakes where visitors can access water for drinking or other purposes.

7. Trail Markers: The trail may have markers or signs indicating the trail route, distances, and points of interest to help visitors navigate.

8. Scenic Overlooks: There might be designated viewpoints or scenic overlooks along the trail, offering beautiful vistas or photo opportunities.

9. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The trail may pass through areas known for wildlife sightings, providing opportunities for visitors to observe and appreciate nature.

10. Accessibility Features: Some trails may have accessibility features like wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, or facilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Skookum Flats Campground – A campground located near the trailhead, offering tent and RV camping options.
– Crystal Mountain Resort – A ski resort with lodging options, located about 20 miles from Skookum Flats Trail.

2. Food Services:
– Greenwater General Store – A small store offering groceries, snacks, and basic food items.
– Naches Tavern – A rustic tavern serving American cuisine and drinks, located near the trailhead.

3. Emergency Services:
– Enumclaw Regional Hospital – A hospital located in Enumclaw, about 20 miles from Skookum Flats Trail.
– Enumclaw Police Department – Local law enforcement agency in Enumclaw, providing emergency services.

Skookum Flats Trail Difficulty Notes

The Skookum Flats Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. The trail is approximately 8.2 miles long and features a mix of flat sections and gradual inclines, making it suitable for hikers of varying skill levels. While there are some rocky and uneven sections along the trail, they are generally manageable. The trail also crosses several streams, adding an element of adventure. Overall, the Skookum Flats Trail provides a satisfying challenge without being overly strenuous, making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Features And Attractions

The Skookum Flats Trail is located in Washington state, specifically in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. While the trail itself is known for its beautiful scenery and natural landmarks, there are several points of interest along the way. Here are some of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can find along the Skookum Flats Trail:

1. Skookum Falls: This stunning waterfall is one of the highlights of the trail. It cascades down a rocky cliff, creating a picturesque scene.

2. White River: The trail follows the White River for a portion of its length, offering beautiful views of the river and its surrounding landscape.

3. Old growth forests: The Skookum Flats Trail passes through sections of old growth forests, where you can see towering trees and lush vegetation.

4. Suspension bridge: There is a suspension bridge along the trail that adds to the adventure and provides a unique viewpoint of the surrounding area.

5. Wildlife: The trail is known for its wildlife sightings. Keep an eye out for deer, elk, birds, and other animals that call this area home.

6. Mount Rainier views: On clear days, you can catch glimpses of Mount Rainier from certain points along the trail, providing a breathtaking backdrop.

7. Historical logging artifacts: As you hike, you may come across remnants of the area’s logging history, such as old machinery or logging camps.

8. River crossings: The trail includes several river crossings, which can be both challenging and rewarding. These crossings offer opportunities to cool off in the water and enjoy the natural surroundings.

9. Moss-covered rocks and boulders: The Skookum Flats Trail is known for its moss-covered rocks and boulders, which add to the trail’s enchanting atmosphere.

10. Peaceful atmosphere: One of the most notable aspects of the Skookum Flats Trail is its peaceful and serene atmosphere. The trail is relatively less crowded compared to other popular hikes in the area, allowing you to enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Remember to check trail conditions and obtain any necessary permits before embarking on your journey.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– Camping is not allowed along the trail.
– Open fires are prohibited.
– Hunting or trapping is not allowed.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas and requires a valid fishing license.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during high fire danger or wildlife mating seasons.
– Leave no trace: pack out all trash and leave the trail as you found it.
– Be aware of and respectful towards wildlife and their habitats.
– Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Skookum Flats Trail, located in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, offers a stunning outdoor experience for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. While the trail is accessible year-round, the best times to visit depend on personal preferences and the desired experience.

During the spring and early summer months, typically from April to June, the Skookum Flats Trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery. The weather is generally mild, making it an ideal time for hiking and exploring the trail. The rushing waters of the White River, which the trail follows for a significant portion, are at their peak during this time, creating a picturesque backdrop for hikers.

Summer, from July to September, is another popular time to visit the Skookum Flats Trail. The weather is warm and sunny, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The trail offers shade from the surrounding trees, making it a pleasant escape from the summer heat. This is also a great time for swimming or picnicking by the river, as the water levels are lower and calmer.

It is important to note that the Skookum Flats Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance work. In the winter months, from November to March, the trail may be covered in snow and inaccessible for hiking. It is advisable to check with the Mount Rainier National Park website or visitor center for the most up-to-date information on trail conditions and closures.

Overall, the best times to visit the Skookum Flats Trail are during the spring and summer months when the weather is pleasant, wildflowers are in bloom, and the river is at its most picturesque. However, each season offers its own unique charm, and even during the colder months, the trail can be a serene and peaceful place to explore.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: Skookum Flats Trail is not wheelchair accessible due to its rugged terrain and uneven surfaces.
2. ADA Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available at the trailhead for visitors with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are provided at the trailhead for individuals with mobility challenges.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface consists of natural materials such as dirt, gravel, and rocks, which may pose challenges for wheelchair users.
5. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout the trail, but it may not meet the minimum width requirements for wheelchair accessibility.
6. Trail Grade: The trail includes steep sections and uneven terrain, making it difficult for individuals using wheelchairs or mobility aids.
7. Trail Obstacles: The trail may have fallen trees, rocks, or other obstacles that can impede wheelchair users or individuals with mobility limitations.
8. Trail Length: Skookum Flats Trail is a moderately long trail, which may be challenging for individuals with limited mobility or endurance.
9. Trail Features: The trail offers scenic views, river crossings, and diverse flora and fauna, but these features may not be easily accessible to individuals with disabilities.
10. Alternative Access: While the main trail may not be wheelchair accessible, there may be alternative accessible routes or viewpoints nearby that can be explored.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: Skookum Flats Trail is a moderately difficult trail suitable for hikers with some experience and fitness level.
2. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 8.2 miles long, offering a decent day hike or overnight backpacking option.
3. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail can experience rain, fog, or sudden temperature drops.
4. Trail Conditions: Watch out for muddy sections and slippery rocks, especially during or after rainfall.
5. River Crossings: Exercise caution when crossing the White River, as water levels can rise rapidly and currents can be strong.
6. Wildlife Encounter: Be aware of potential encounters with wildlife, including bears, cougars, and smaller animals like raccoons or squirrels.
7. Navigation: Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to ensure you stay on the designated trail, as some sections may be less defined.
8. Trail Markers: Look for trail markers and follow them closely to avoid getting lost or straying onto unofficial paths.
9. Pack Essentials: Bring essential items such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, extra clothing layers, and a headlamp or flashlight.
10. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting the natural environment.
11. Hiking in Groups: Consider hiking with a partner or in a group for added safety and support.
12. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with basic first aid techniques and carry a whistle or signaling device in case of emergencies.
13. Trailhead Parking: Park your vehicle securely and ensure no valuables are left visible to deter theft.
14. Trailhead Information: Check for any trail updates or closures before starting your hike, as conditions may change.
15. Inform Others: Let someone know your hiking plans, including your expected return time and the trail you’ll be on.
16. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the trail, as it involves some elevation gain and challenging terrain.
17. Respect Other Hikers: Yield to uphill hikers, maintain a reasonable pace, and be courteous to fellow trail users.
18. Water Sources: Carry enough water or a filtration system, as there may not be reliable water sources along the trail.
19. Time Management: Plan your hike according to daylight hours, allowing enough time to complete the trail safely.
20. Enjoyment: Take your time, enjoy the scenic beauty, and be mindful of your surroundings for a memorable experience on Skookum Flats Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Skookum Flats Trail is a significant natural resource that is currently under conservation efforts to protect its unique ecosystem and biodiversity. The trail is located within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA. It traverses through a diverse range of habitats, including old-growth forests, riparian zones, and meadows, providing a home to numerous plant and animal species.

Due to its ecological importance, the Skookum Flats Trail has been designated as a conservation area by the forest authorities. This status ensures that the trail and its surrounding environment are managed and protected to maintain their natural integrity. Conservation efforts focus on preserving the trail’s pristine condition, preventing habitat degradation, and minimizing human impact on the area.

The Skookum Flats Trail is subject to strict regulations to ensure its conservation status is upheld. These regulations include restrictions on camping, hunting, and off-road vehicle use to prevent disturbance to the delicate ecosystem. Additionally, educational programs and visitor guidelines are in place to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and to promote responsible recreational activities along the trail.

Overall, the conservation status of the Skookum Flats Trail reflects the commitment to preserving its ecological value and ensuring its long-term sustainability. Through ongoing conservation efforts, this trail will continue to provide a unique and undisturbed natural experience for future generations to enjoy while safeguarding the diverse flora and fauna that call it home.

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