Goblins Gate

Hike to a rocky gorge where the Elwha River thrashes over a series of rapids. The approach to the Goblins Gate is via the historic Press Expedition Route. In 1889-90 James H. Christie funded by the Seattle Press newspaper, led a group of five men, a couple of dogs, and a pack of mules on an exploratory journey across the Olympic Mountains. It was the first successful European-American crossing of the Olympic Mountains. Christie and company named many landmarks along the way including the Goblins Gate for its ghoulish looking rocks guarding this chasm.

Follow the well-trodden Elwha River Trail gently climbing thorough mature forest followed by younger trees—the result of a series of early twentieth-century fires. Pass the Elk Overlook granting a good view of the Elwha 500 feet below. Then at just past a mile head right on the Rica Canyon Trail and descend to the river bottom. Next follow a short spur to Goblins Gate and admire the rocky narrow chasm funneling the Elwha’s swiftly moving waters.