Colonel Bob Wilderness in Washington

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Colonel Bob Wilderness

The 11,000-acre Colonel Bob Wilderness, an excellent place for exploring nature, is largely a temperate rainforest, with lots of precipitation and plenty of lush landscape at low elevations and stunning alpine and sub-alpine scenery at higher ones.

  • Features two strenuous but exciting trails to the summit of Colonel Bob Peak 
  • Primitive camping is available 
  • Deer and elk hunting can be enjoyed here during hunting season

What can I see and do at Colonel Bob Wilderness? 

  • Hiking/Mountain Climbing: Inside this wilderness, which is close to Lake Quinault, are about 12 miles of trails. The Pete’s Creek Trail is one of two that goes to the summit of Colonel Bob Peak and is 8.2 miles in length with an elevation gain of 3,300 feet. The even more strenuous Colonel Bob trail, 14.5 miles round trip, has an elevation gain of 4,200 feet. Both trails can be dangerous and are suitable only for very experienced and fit trekkers. 
  • Camping: Camping is permitted in the wilderness and along the trails. Those hiking the Colonel Bob Trail should consider stopping at Mulkey Shelter at mile 4. Another popular camping spot is Moonshine Flats, situated at 6.3 miles on the same trail. This is primitive camping, so plan accordingly. There is additional camping and RV parks available close by near Lake Quinault. 
  • Hunting: Elk and deer migrate along the ridge line and move through the thick underbrush of this lush wilderness. Hunting experts recommend that hunters note where the animals have recently crossed the road and stop their vehicle and chase after them on foot. This has been a successful technique for hunters in the area. High buck hunting is available but can be dangerous unless the hunter has some backcountry experience.

Where is the Colonel Bob Wilderness?

The Colonel Bob trailhead is located six miles from Highway 101 and three miles beyond the Lake Quinault Lodge on the South Shore Road. Look for a trailhead sign and a small parking area on the right side of the road.

How much does the Colonel Bob Wilderness cost?

Exploring the glory of this wilderness is free!

Who can I call if I have more questions?

For more information on the Colonel Bob Wilderness, call the Quinault Ranger Station at 360-288-2525.