Sundown Lake Way TrailThis former route towards Sundown Lake in Olympic National Forest is no longer navigable.https://staging.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/sundown-lake-way-trailhttps://staging.wta.org/site_images/hikes/wynoochee-pass-to-sundown-lake.jpeg/@@download/image/Wynoochee Pass to Sundown Lake.jpeg
The Sundown Lake Way Trail has faded into history over the years, and even veteran hikers have a hard time following it.
Formerly a "sister" to the Upper South Fork Skokomish trail, this route paralleled the Upper South Fork Skok, beginning in Olympic National Forest and then entering the National Park to join the trails near Sundown Lake. Now though, the Sundown Lake Way Trail has been reclaimed by the forest. Visitors will need route-finding and map reading skills, and a hardy disposition to navigate the former route.
WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.
From Olympia, drive north on Highway 101 towards Shelton for 19 miles. Exit the highway towards Matlock and travel approximately 15 miles on Dayton-Matlock Road.
From Matlock, continue straight at the junction onto the Matlock-Deckerville Road. Continue 8.8 miles, and turn right onto Cougar-Smith Road. Proceed 5.5 miles to Forest Service Road 22 to a major intersection, where you will continue straight onto Road 2270 and drive north of Wynoochee Lake to the 400 spur near the Olympic National Park boundary.
The Wynoochee Pass trailhead is off the 2270-400 spur. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended to reach this trailhead.
It is worth noting that while infrequent, the Cougar-Smith road is an active logging road and can occasionally be closed without warning. Here is an alternate approach that avoids this road.
From Highway 12, drive one mile west of Montesano and turn north on Wynoochee Valley Road. Proceed approximately 34 miles on the Wynoochee Valley Road (FS Road 22) to a major intersection. At this intersection continue straight ahead (north) on FS Road 2270, a left will take you to the Wynooochee Dam and Coho Campground and a right will take you to the Satsop Work Center. Follow FS Road 2270 11.7 miles to the FS Spur Road #400 (2270-400). Take a right and follow 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Approximate drive time from Montesano to trailhead 2.25 hours.