Directions to trail head: Quinault Lake is on the southwest side of the Olympic Peninsula. You'll follow U.S. 101, which makes an inverted U around the peninsula. Approaching from the south, you'll drive past horrid clearcuts and dreary lumber towns before leaving the highway at South Shore Road and driving two miles to the hamlet of Quinault. The lake, lodge, campgrounds, picnic areas, trail heads and the U.S. Forest Service's Quinault Ranger Station are easy to find. Be sure to get the latest in trail information and maps from the station.
Six miles from U.S. 101 on South Shore Road is an entry point to 12,000-acre Colonel Bob Wilderness, set aside in 1984. Colonel Bob Trail ascends 7 1/4 steep miles up fir- and cedar-forested slopes, past meadows known for spectacular summer wildflowers, to the summit of Colonel Bob Peak (4,492 feet). Grand clear-day vistas of Quinault country, as well as the snowy peaks of the Olympic range, including Mt. Olympus, are the hiker's reward for reaching this peak.
Where: Olympic National Forest, Olympic National Park Distance: 1-13 miles. Terrain: Lush river valley, timbered foothills, a skyline of snowy peaks. Highlights: Rain forest, giant [William O. Douglas] fir. Degree of difficulty: Easy to strenuous. For more information: Contact the Olympic National Forest, Quinault Ranger District, Quinault, Wash. 98575, (206) 283-2525. Olympic National Park, 600 E. Park Ave., Port Angeles, Wash. 98362; recorded visitor information: (306) 452-9235; park headquarters, (206) 452-4501.