Bogachiel River: Forks Washington

The Bogachiel River is a river of the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. It originates near Bogachiel Peak, flows west through the mountains of Olympic National Park. After emerging from the park it joins the Sol Duc River, forming the Quillayute River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean near La Push, Washington.

The Quillayute River system, with its main tributaries of the Bogachiel, Sol Duc, Calawah, and Dickey Rivers, drains the largest watershed on the north Olympic Peninsula.

A large portion of the Bogachiel River is in the wilderness of Olympic National Park. The Bogachiel Trail, beginning a few miles outside the park, follows the Bogachiel River to the North Fork Bogachiel, then follows that river valley up into the high mountains, connecting to other trails thet lead north to the Sol Duc River valley and south to the Hoh River valley.

The Bogachiel River, along with the Quillayute's other tributaries, are popular for fishing. The rivers hosts healthy stocks of wild winter steelhead (the anadromous form of coastal rainbow trout) with as many as 19,000 fish returning in some years and up to 50,000 hatchery raised steelhead. The river also supports large runs of Chinook and coho salmon and holds resident populations of coastal cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden.

Unlike many other large rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, the headwaters of the Bogachiel and the other Quillayute tributaries are not glacier-fed. As a result, they do not experience a spring and summer flood pulse with heavy sediment loads. This gives the Bogachiel River a longer fishing season.

The name "Bogachiel" is a corruption of the Quileute words bo qwa tcheel el, or /boqʷač'íʔl/, from /bó:q'ʷa/, "muddy", and /číʔlowa/, "water", meaning "gets riley [turbid] after a rain", "muddy waters", or, less likely, "big river".