On U.S. Route 101 between Forks and Port Angeles, Washington, turn left from eastbound/right from westbound between Mileposts 227 and 228 where indicated by signage for Mount Storm King Ranger Station, Lake Crescent Lodge, NatureBridge, and Marymere Falls
Proceed 0.10 miles/0.16 km to intersection
Turn right and proceed to parking lot
Follow signage to trailhead
The trail can also be accessed from various points on the grounds of Lake Crescent Lodge where indicated by signage
The Marymere Falls Nature Trail, Barnes Creek Trail, and Aurora Divide Trail are part of the vast network of trails that ranges throughout the Olympic National Park backcountry. From the official trailhead at the historic Storm King Ranger Station (and others farther west around Lake Crescent Lodge), the Marymere Falls Nature Trail and Barnes Creek Trail generally track Barnes Creek, alternating between draping deciduous creekside forest and dim conifer woodlands higher up the undulating mountainsides. The Aurora Divide Trail then climbs to a junction with yet other trails atop Aurora Ridge. Scarcely a view opens amid the lush canopy of mixed forest arching into the narrow valleys and mossy folds. Hike these trails for the lonely forest solitude — few others venture beyond Marymere Falls.
The Marymere Falls Nature Trail is flat until it reaches its junction with the Barnes Creek Trail, marked by a small sign about 0.50 miles/0.80 km from the trailhead. There, the Marymere Falls Nature Trail turns right, crosses two footbridges, and then climbs and descends the short, 0.80-mile/1.30-km Falls Loop steeply in either direction. The loop provides two vantage points for viewing Falls Creek slipping over Marymere Falls just before it joins Barnes Creek. A popular destination, the loop trail can be busy with hikers throughout the day; however, in early morning and evening, one may still enjoy the falls in complete tranquility.
From the Marymere Falls Nature Trail, the Barnes Creek Trail continues along the creek a short distance before dropping down to a log bridge and continuing on the other side of the creek. (The sharp, rightward turn down to the bridge can be easy to miss, as a spur trail continues straight along the left side of the creek before dead-ending at a large, creekside boulder a short distance later. Taken intentionally, the spur trail is a pleasant option for those who wish only a brief amble along the creek before returning.) Beyond the log bridge, the Barnes Creek Trail’s rolling incline is gentle, but persistent. About 2.50 miles/4.00 km from the trailhead, the Barnes Creek Trail leaves the chattering waters behind and angles upward into quiet, evergreen woodland.
Approximately 3.20 miles/5.00 km from the trailhead, the Barnes Creek Trail reaches another trail junction. There, the little maintained Upper Barnes Creek Trail forks left and continues along Barnes Creek, while the Aurora Divide Trail forks right and switchbacks, sometimes steeply, another 3.50 miles/5.60 km to Aurora Ridge, where it joins additional trails approximately 6.70 miles/10.80 km from the trailhead. (The ridgetop trail junction sign indicates that it is “7.5 ML” from Lake Crescent. The discrepancy in the stated distance may result from the various possible starting points along the lakeshore between the Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge.) Beyond the Aurora Divide Trail, the backwoods trails along the ridge are quite lengthy and, given their spotty maintenance, may require some route-finding skills. This page profiles the Marymere Falls Nature Trail, Barnes Creek Trail, and Aurora Divide Trail to the top of Aurora Ridge; however, the distance can be shortened or increased by varying where one chooses to turn back or connect to another trail.