This is the Dosewallips River at the first bridge on the West Fork Dosewallips trail. We were dayhiking from the Dosewallips campground and I took this looking up-river from the middle of the bridge. It wasn’t until later that I realized that there is a young woman sunning on a rock on the bank.
The Dosewallips River in early July is running high with snow melt in the high country. With our early hot weather, it is melting out quicker than expected … This image was shot from the Dosewallips Campground. There was a bend in the river that gave me a view up the valley some … I’m not out wading in the cold water.
The road into the Dosewallips Campground was washed out years ago. It makes a good warm up hike to start off the hiking season, mostly flat and a nice camp … the picnic tables are wonderful when you are out in the woods. I was out last week for a few days and the weather was perfect and the mosquitoes were minimal. A wonderful start to the summer’s hiking.
Well, it’s a day hike if you are already in the upper Duckabush or upper West Fork Dosewallips. It’s a couple days of hiking in the Olympic National Park to get to that point. LaCrosse Pass is the high point on the trail that runs south from the West Fork Dose to the Duckabush. At 5566 ft, it typically is mid-July before it is snow free. One August, Jeff and I hiked up to the pass from our camp at Honeymoon Meadows. There are good views of the upper Duckabush from the pass (image immediately below) and of the upper West Fork Dosewallips, including the ridge running between the Dose and the Duckabush (second image below). The trail was in good condition, except for grasses growing over the tread. It wasn’t an issue for us, but on a rainy day it would have meant a good chance for wet feet.
These images are lower resolution compared to many of my posts. On this trip (back in 2003) I carried a Nikonos … a rugged camera designed for underwater … and that shoots film. These images are the scans were done during processing and were much lower resolution that what we are used to these days. Since the image files are JPG’s, there is also much less latitude for color correction.
Spring covers a wide range of changes to the forests and lowlands of the Olympic National Park. The high country doesn’t start being snow-free until summer … spring in the high country means snow travel. Lower down, the rivers can be running quite low … if the snow isn’t melting higher in the valleys and it’s not raining. The image above is at under 1000 feet elevation and shows the river running fairly low after a couple days of cool dry weather.
The image below shows a group of backpackers that had been up to Big Timber Camp on the West Fork of the Dosewallips. Big Timber is at 2300 feet and they reported 5 feet of hard packed snow at that point. You need good insulation between you and the ground to sleep on snow …
The image at the bottom shows the view up to the high country and the remaining snow in the trees. The area shown has melted out more, since it is open to the south and the sun is starting to do its thawing out trick.