SEASON: May through July once road to Deer Park opens
LOGISTICS: To reach the take-out, turn south off Highway 101 at mile 267.4 on to
Palo Alto Road which takes you through farmlands and into the foothills of the Olympics. This road
is paved all the way and in 8.0 miles you will see a turnoff to the right (FR 2880) for Dungeness
Forks Campground. Follow this road 1.0 miles down to the Dungeness River. You will cross it at a
bridge just upstream of the Gray Wolf confluence which comes in from river left. The campground
which is the take-out is here between the two rivers. Nestled in the rain shadow of the mountains
and surrounded by mid-age Douglas Fir, it is one of the nicer Forest Service campgrounds in the
Olympics. To reach the put-in, head back to Highway 101 and continue west toward Port Angeles.
At mile mile 253.1 (near the Deer Park Cinema) turn south on to Deer Park Road . Follow this road
all the way to the end and the trailhead. You will need to check road conditions with Olympic National Park as the road is snowed in during
the winter. From the trailhead it's about a 4 mile hike down to the river that drops 3000 feet in
This run starts out in the National Park before passing through the heart of the
northern unit of the National Forest's Buckhorn Wilderness. It's one of the only runs on the Olympic
Peninsula that passes through historic old-growth forest that is now protected as wilderness. This
also means that significant wood hazards can form so use caution. It's a long and challenging run
that requires careful scouting. If you want to check out the river later in the summer you can scout
it out from the Gray Wolf Trail (trail 834) although it's always a good idea to check out trail
conditions with the National Forest first.
lat/long very approximate by tiger map server
for additional information see:
Memo and supporting documents on rivers eligible for Wild and Scenic designation within Olympic National Park
A comprehensive guide to 75 river runs on Washington's beautiful Olympic Peninsula.
Visual, but avoid high water. Look
for flows around 500 cfs. Check the downstream
gauge on the Dungeness to get a
feel for what's happening in the basin (the Gray
Wolf is approximately half the flow of this
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
The extensive road network in Olympic National Forest has deteriorated over the last few years with the reduction in logging intensity and corresponding lack of routine maintenance. The road failures have resulted in destruction of aquatic habitat and reduced access. Repair work and decommissioning has begun with the introduction of a new road management plan in fall 2002.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!