Shakedown On the Dosewallips

The trail between Dose Forks and the old Ranger Station. Very peaceful and soothing.
The trail between Dose Forks and the old Ranger Station. Very peaceful and soothing.

I have been slowly working on getting ready for the Sierra portion of the PCT this summer. Got my heart fixed in February, started to run again in March, and back into the Olympics in April. And now, with only two months left to prepare it seemed like a good time to start using the equipment I will use in the Sierra.

The two big changes are swapping out the Ursack for a bear can, and swapping the hammock for a tent and sleeping bag. The bear can will be required over much of this year’s trip, but the choice of a shelter has been hard, and still not firm. I know folks have hung in the Sierra, but at this point I don’t want to have to plan my trip around available trees so am at least preparing to go to ground.

The waterfall on the Dosewallips half a mile down from the end of the road.

The trailhead on the Dosewallips is about 2 hours from home. So shortly after 8:30 I was parked at the washout and heading up the abandoned roadbed. This is really a nice walk and took just about 2 hours for the 5.5 mile trip to the official trailhead.

One of the Rhododendron’s that was in bloom.

There were a few Rhodies and Dogwoods blooming, along with a few small flowers and lots of Dandelions. The waterfall near the end was also in full roar. There are quite a few trees across the road, but there was a volunteer ranger working to clear them.

After an early lunch at the campground, I pushed on up toward Dose Meadows. It was a pleasant sunny day, just perfect for a walk in the woods.

In a few places the ground was carpeted with Calypso Orchids.

There were a few flowers in bloom, but the Calypso Orchids stole the show. I had never seen so many, with one patch in particular having several dozen clumped together.

The waterfall on the Upper Twin Creek, above the bridge. I believe it is Calypso Falls, but the sign is gone now.

The trail is a fairly steady climb, crossing a creek every mile or so; most with logs or bridges. But you will eventually get your feet wet. There is also the occasional windfall, but nothing too challenging.

By the time I got to Deception Creek I was starting to see a few patches of snow and was getting tired, so called it a day after about 13.5 miles and 3600 foot of elevation gain. Set up the tent, pad and sleeping bag for the first since last May on the PCT in southern California, cleaned up a bit in the cold creek, ate dinner and chilled until bedtime.

My ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus setup at Deception Creek.

The night on the ground was tolerable until I realized my air mattress had a slow leak. Ended up having to re-inflate it several times during the night. Otherwise the night was uneventful; just the way I like it.

Up early the next morning and retraced my steps back to the truck and then home.

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