The Lower Big Quilcene River Trail climbs only 1200 feet in its entire 6.2-mile journey which makes it flat and a great choice for an early-season hike. Or mountain bike! The trail passes by old camp and shelter sites, testaments to when there was no shorter option to Marmot Pass.
A good day-hike objective is Camp Jolley, 5 miles out. But hikers not intent on putting in that many miles can cut their hike in half by opting for Bark Shanty Camp. No matter how far you venture, the Lower Big Quilcene offers one of the best low-country valley hikes in the eastern Olympics. How to get there — From Quilcene drive US 101 south for 1.5 miles. (From Shelton follow US 101 north for 50.5 miles.) Turn right (west) onto Penny Creek Road. After 1.5 miles bear left onto Big Quilcene River Road (Forest Road 27). Drive 3 miles, coming to a junction. Continue right on FR 27 and after 0.4 mile turn left onto FR 27-080. Follow this narrow dirt road 0.5 mile to the trailhead. Privy available.