Aurora Creek Trail

Aurora Creek Trailhead

The Aurora Creek Trail is one of the most seldom used trails in Olympic National Park … especially if you ignore the trails that need multiple days of hiking to access. The trailhead is a little over 2 miles from the Mount Storm King Ranger Station on Crescent Lake and starts right along the edge of US Highway 101. There isn’t a parking location at the trailhead, but there are some slow vehicle turnouts nearby that can be used. You can see from the photo below that there isn’t a shoulder on the opposite side of the highway.

Lake Crescent — Across from the Aurora Creek Trailhead

Adding to its lack of attraction is the steep grade of the trail. It climbs 3400 ft (1036 m) in 3.4 miles (5.5 km) … a steep grade for the entire length of the trail. Switchbacks are continual. There is no water access along the trail.

Aurora Creek Trail Switchbacks

And the sidehill is densely forested, eliminating most of the view.

Aurora Creek Trail Sidehill

At the top, the Aurora Creek Trail intersects with the Aurora Ridge Trail. It is also seldom hiked. And the maintenance is also infrequent. Why did I hike this trail? Just part of my goal to hike as many of the trails in the Olympic National Park as I can. Just to see what’s there … and try to imagine why the trail exists. My guess on this one is that it was created to get to the high country in the early days before any roads. It provides access to the ridge and the ridge is much easier traveling than the low country with its nearly impenetrable thickets of alder brush.

Aurora Ridge Trail near the Aurora Creek Trail Junction

Good luck with this signpost. My guess is that it doesn’t still stand upright.

Trail Sign on Aurora Ridge at the Aurora Creek Trail junction

2 thoughts on “Aurora Creek Trail

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    1. Yes, but it’s steep and doesn’t really go anywhere.
      If you got a view after all that work, it would be worth it.

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