This steep but shady trail features a rhododendron forest, and numerous saprophytic plants. At the end, it connects to a Forest Service road, allowing for additional wandering, to find views of Hood Canal and more.
The Elbo Creek trail was originally an extension of the Rainbow trail built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The trail began beside Elbo Creek, and passed by the former Rainbow Camp Guard Station. WTA worked for several seasons to restore this trail. The current trailhead picks up the trail along Rocky Brook Road, and Elbo Creek is never seen. So despite the name, this is a dry trail; bring your own water.
The trail climbs steadily for 2.5 miles, to where it connects with a Forest Service road that allows wandering farther in search of views. But the real draws to this trail are a rhododendron forest, with pink blossoms in the spring, and curious saprophytic plants in the summer: Indian Pipe, candystick, coral root, pinesap, and many other interesting types of flora bloom along this trail. In winter, this is an excellent snowshoe workout.
After the end of the trail, you can turn back to complete a pleasant 5 mile forest walk. Or, to climb to views, head southwest on the road 1.5 miles to a sharp right switchback onto another road, which ascends steeply up to structures and transmission towers (off-limits; no trespassing). Behind the final structure at 4.7 miles is a short boot trail which leads to an exposed shoulder of Buck Mountain, at 3700 feet, with nice views.