Olympic Peninsula Proposed Wild & Scenic Rivers

The Olympic Peninsula’s wild rivers give us clean water, world-class recreation and unmatched opportunities for inspiration and solitude. They bring jobs and economic benefits to local communities and provide critical habitat for salmon, steelhead and a variety of other fish and wildlife. Wild and Scenic designation–the strongest protection a river can receive–ensures that the free-flowing character, water quality and outstanding values of these rivers are protected for generations to come.

Map of Proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers

Selected Examples of Wild and Scenic River Candidates

The Campaign is proposing Wild and Scenic River designation only for contiguous river stretches flowing through state or federal lands. We are not proposing Wild and Scenic River designation for any river stretches that flow through private lands unless the landowner approves. Below are examples of Wild and Scenic River Candidates.

Hamma Hamma River

The Hamma Hamma River, fed by the Mildred Lakes within the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness, drops quickly down the eastern slope of the Olympic Range into the Hood Canal, where its clean, cold waters provide the perfect environment for the distinctive Hood Canal Oysters.

  • For recreational fishing, the river is home to chum, pink, chinook, coho, and steelhead.
  • The scenic Hamma Hamma Falls are a popular recreational destination, cascading 75 feet into a spectacular gorge.

Dungeness River

The second steepest river in the United States, the Dungeness River begins high on Mount Mystery in Olympic National Park, flowing into Dungeness Bay on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

  • Fishermen are drawn to this wild river for steelhead and cutthroat trout, as well as chinook, coho, and a unique pink salmon that is an entirely native wild stock with no hatchery influence.
  • The Upper Dungeness River Trail provides a pleasant stroll for all ages, while the lower trail connects a popular mountain biking loop.
  • Its watershed provides an important source of clean drinking water for Sequim, Washington.

Sol Duc River

As the largest of the four rivers, which ultimately form the Quillayute River, the Sol Duc River travels 72 miles west from its origin on the north side of the High Divide in Olympic National Park.

  • Having remarkable migratory fish diversity and health, the Sol Duc River is a revered fishing spot and one of the only rivers of the Olympic Peninsula that supports all five major species of salmon.
  • With rapids like “Can Opener” and ”Saw Dust,” the Sol Duc offers exciting and challenging adventures for any experienced paddler.
  • The Sol Duc Falls, Sol Duc Hot Springs, and hikes through old-growth forests of Douglas-fir make for a perfect recreational destination.

Queets River

From its origin–the Humes Glacier atop Mount Olympus–the Queets River flows west through temperate rainforest and usually carries a glacial aqua color, which offers natural cover for the large native salmon and trout.

  • The river supports chinook, chum, coho, cutthroat trout, and native steelhead, which can grow as large as 20 pounds.
  • Twelve miles of Class II rapids and mild whitewater combined with the stunning scenery of the Olympic Mountains make this a destination for experienced drift boat rowers and paddlers who can enjoy this rare and undeveloped floodplain river system.
  • Mossy maples and quiet solitude are found along the Queets Rainforest Trail.