Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Olympic National Park

OK, here we go.  Click the pictures for bigger views.

This past Sunday I made a whirl-wind tour of Olympic National Park.  The game plan was to scout areas for potential camping and backpacking trips.  If you want to follow along at home, click THIS link to get the PDF map to download if you so choose.

The first area I visited was the Hurricane Ridge area.  I drove up to Port Angeles and then drove the road up to the visitor center.  The route is a bit steepish (5% to 7% for 20 plus miles, I think) and paved which make it a favorite for roadie bikers to train on.

On the referenced map, this area is on the far north side and towards  the center.  I stopped at the visitor center for a bit to quiz a ranger.  Then I drove to the parking lot a bit farther up the road and stuck out on the trail to Hurricane Hill.

You'll see in the referenced (later) link to the whole group of pictures there were numerous wildflowers along the way.

I saw a sign for some lingering snow.....

.....and there it was.

The views from this trail were outstanding.  The number of people up there was large.  Despite that, I think I could take some lesser traveled trails and get away from the masses pretty quickly.

I departed Hurricane Ridge driving back through Port Angeles south on US 101 to Hoodsport.  Once there I headed into the park by way of Cushman Lake..... the Staircase area.  For those following along on the map, it is in the south eastern corner of the park.  I parked and headed out on the main trail heading north and west.

I did find a cool suspension bridge not far from the parking lot.

You'll see in the main group of pictures, but this area reminded me of Star Wars Episode Six and I expected Ewoks to pop up anytime.  None were seen.  I did see some tall, old growth forest trees, though.

I liked the Staircase area and the trail I was hiking.  Looking at the map I see several primitive campsites farther up the trail that would make backpacking fun.  I've heard Flapjack Lakes is supposed to be quite scenic.

I got back to town later in the evening.  My mission of scouting areas to explore was complete.  I'll be doing some camping and/or backpacking in Olympic National Park probably yet this season.  The batch of pictures I took are HERE.

I've one more National Park to hit.  I'll be making a trip or two to North Cascades National Park in August and/or September.  The weather has been outstanding this summer and I'm trying to cram as many excursions into the back country as I can.

However, this coming weekend I have alternate activities that will keep me from the back country.  Oh well, sometimes a dude's gotta do what he's gotta do.

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