Staircase Rapids is a beautiful 2.1 mile loop trail following the North Fork of the Skokomish River.
Visitors here will enjoy the Olympic old-growth forest with a lush understory of mosses and ferns. As a loop, it's hikable either way, but this route describes a clockwise approach.
Start by heading up the Staircase Rapids Nature Trail. This trail sticks close to the river, though a berm sometimes blocks the view of the river itself. No matter, the trees and lush undergrowth provide amazing scenery.
At about .8 miles, take the trail to the right (do not continue up the much-more-rugged Four Stream Trail), and cross a suspension bridge to the the other side of the river.
Stop here to admire the river, the rapids, and the startlingly blue color of the water. Sit by the river for a bit to cool off if it's a hot day. Once you've enjoyed the riverside enough, head for the junction of this trail with the North Fork Skokomish River Trail, and follow the trail downstream just over a mile to return to the Ranger Station and parking area.