The Graves Creek primitive trail provides access to old growth forests high above the Quinault River Valley and solitude compared to the high use trails along the Quinault River. Expect glimpses of waterfalls across the gorge in spring and signs of wild-life including cougar, deer, and elk.
Start your hike at the Graves Creek trailhead, and immediately cross Graves Creek on a high bridge. 200 feet later come to a signed junction. Take the trail uphill to your right, climbing away from the creek for 0.3 miles on a series of switchbacks to a forested bench. Graves Creek, which can be heard but not seen at this point, flows rather swiftly through the bottom of a steep sided gorge and is paralleled by the trail from well above.
At 1.1 miles a creek cascading down the far side of the gorge can be seen through the trees. The trail gains elevation gradually and crosses a number of steep creeks through a rich forest dominated by hemlock, cedar, and fir. The trail descends to the level of Graves Creek in a deep shady gorge and crosses it 3.7 miles from the trailhead, just below the convergence with Success Creek. This makes a good place to relax by the cool stream and is a nice turnaround point for day hikers.
Extend Your Hike: Those looking for more miles or who are backpacking can cross Success Creek where an orange marker on a stump marks the continuation of the trail. The ford is not bridged and may be deep and swift in spring and early summer. Continuing uphill for 2.5 more miles and 800 vertical feet, visitors arrive at a junction with the Wynoochee Trail and the beginnings of sub-alpine meadows.