Northern Olympics Loop

It’s been a couple of weeks since I have been out into the Olympics, so decided to do the big northern Olympics loop, starting at Obstruction Point, crossing through the Grand Valley, the upper Cameron, Lost Basin, the Upper Dosewallips, the Graywolf, and Obstruction Ridge. I have done this loop, or some variation of it, a couple of times, but it has been 9 years since the last time around. The plan is to spend 5 days on the trail, including a long stay a Cedar Lake. The last time I did it it took 6 days and kicked my tail. …

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The PCT: Chinook Pass to Trout Lake; the Final Chapter

This final chapter on my PCT adventure started at Chinook Pass and went south 95 miles to FS 23 near Trout Lake. The plan was to share this section with a friend, but he hurt his back the day before he left to join me and had to cancel. The wife dropped me off at the pass mid afternoon on Friday and I hiked a whopping 3 miles to Dewey Lake for the first night. This is apparently a popular destination, although with limited tent sites. I found a small flat spot in the trees, set up camp and then went down …

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A Five Pass Jaunt

I love being retired; I can go hiking just about anytime I want, especially during the week when the crowds are mostly working. I am prepping for my final leg of the PCT in August so felt like a challenging multi-day trip through the Olympics was called for. I went in at Staircase on Monday and up the north fork of the Skokomish, over First Divide and down to Upper Duckabush Camp for the night. Tuesday was up early and headed up the Duckabush to O’Neil Pass and then along the O’Neil trail to the Quinault, over Anderson Pass to …

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A Quick Trip Up the Elwha

It had been two whole weeks since I had been out into the Olympics so I decided it was time to pay a visit to the Elwha. The goal was to make it to Hayes River and base camp there for a couple of days with a day hike on up to Chicago Camp on day 2. It took a bit longer than planned to get up to Whiskey Bend but I was able to be on the trail a bit after 9:30. The trip up to Hayes River was uneventful and mostly pleasant, although I was having some issues …

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Dosewallips in Full Bloom

I took advantage of last week’s good weather and made a trip up the main fork of the Dosewallips. The trailhead for the Dosewallips has been pushed back another mile by the washout on Case Creek and it appears to be a permanent closure of the road at that point. As I headed up the road I encountered a trail crew on their way out. They had spent the past few days clearing the trail up to Deception Creek. That was my destination for the night so I was glad to hear that. Other than the trail crew and their …

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Pulking up the Dosewallips

I have occasionally thought about spending some time in the Olympics during the winter months, but two things have always stopped me. I get cold easily, and I did not have a vehicle that could handle the snow. One of those problems was solved when my 25 year old pickup gave up the ghost and was replaced with one having 4WD. And the problem with cold was just going to have to be overcome. I hiked up the Deer Ridge trail a few weeks ago and spent the night up near Deer Park. And I have to say that it …

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Onion Valley to Kennedy Meadow

August 7 Back to the trail this morning about 7:30 and headed to Kearsarge Pass. I expected it to be a real chore, but it actually went well, and I passed a dozen people on the way up. Coming down from the pass I followed the Bullfrog Lake trail back to the PCT. Put in a few more miles before stopping along side Bubbs Creek at a pretty nice spot. Was eventually joined by a couple of men finishing the JMT. There were a lot of people on the trail today, including a young woman hauling in supplies for a …

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Vermilion Valley Resort to Onion Valley

July 31 The shuttle was late getting to VVR yesterday, so I missed the ferry, by a hair. So I ended up spending the night there. I caught the 9am ferry and started to walk about 9:30. The first couple of miles were pretty mellow, but the next 3 gained 2000 feet; an endless succession of switchbacks. Finally the trail hit 10,000 foot and then immediately lost 1000 of it. The final 4 miles gained that thousand back, and has me 1000 feet below Selden Pass. Today was brutal and warm without much scenery. Carrying a full pack with 6 …

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