Visit a park full of coastal scenery, forests, rocky bluffs, tide pools, and a hearty climb to a 1,166-foot viewpoint.
Clallam County’s 196-acre Salt Creek Recreation Area offers a little bit of something for everyone—playgrounds and play fields, hiking and biking trails, wildlife viewing, remnants from WWII-era Camp Hayden, year-round camping and panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Striped Peak Trail begins just past the park’s entrance booth. Trailhead parking is on the right and clearly signed. Striped Peak is actually a forested peak to the west; a spur trail accesses it but it is not part of the main loop.
This is a hike for views north across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island and northeast to Salt Spring Island. The way is pleasant, offering a short, well-signed hike through lovely coastal forest and a fine way to spend a few hours on the Olympic Peninsula.
Start out among fir and maple, traveling along a well constructed gravel path. As the path heads into the forest, it wanders through towering cedar, fir and hemlock while ascending to a viewpoint. About 0.9 miles from the trailhead, peer 200 feet below to a remote and isolated cove. The junction to side side trail leading down to the cove is clearly sign-posted. The hike down is steep, but excellent stepping-stairs have been built along the way, so footing is not as difficult as the grade would suggest. At high tide, the rocky beach is accessible only by wading, so it is best to go when the tide is at least half way out.
After crossing a few creeks (dry by summer's end), the trail turns, switchbacks and meets an active logging road. Cross directly over and connect with the new trail across the road, which is clearly marked. It continues uphill through the forest, shortly reaching a large sign with a trail map. From there it meanders uphill, meeting a wide trail or old road just before a large clearing stacked with logging slash. The trail skirts north of the clearing, passing a grassy turnaround for logging trucks, and then angles right (north) to the lookout.
The view north is expansive. From the viewpoint the trail continues westward, turning downhill in a series of gentle switchbacks, until intersecting the road about a quarter mile west of the uphill crossing. To head back, walk back down the road to the crossing to make a lollipop loop.