Day Hike to LaCrosse Pass

LaCrosse Pass Marker

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.

The Upper Duckabush from LaCrosse Pass
The ridge between the West Fork Dosewallips and the Duckabush, looking north from LaCrosse Pass
LaCrosse Pass Trail

Spring Hiking Views

Dosewallips River in Spring

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.

Late Winter Backpacking
Dosewallips Road/Trail with a View to High Country Snow

Wide Angle v Panorama

Dosewallips Road (Trail)

The Dosewallips Road is washed out in a couple of places and is now a 6 mile trail to the old car campground. The trail (road) starts in the Olympic National Forest and runs up into the Olympic National Park. This shot is just about at the trailhead … and shows what it looks like in mid-March. (except it’s usually cloudy and raining). It was shot with a 24-84mm zoom lens set at 24mm. A pretty typical wide angle lens without a lot of “wide angle” distortion.

Now look at the image below, which was taken with the same lens set at the same 24mm. However, in this case I have taken a series of images in the landscape format and stitched them together using Lightroom’s Photo Merge>Panorama option. This results in a much different image … I chose to continue higher into the overhead … but is also has a different viewpoint, since much of the sides were eliminated in the merging process.

I like them both, but they certainly have a different feel to them … you can always turn a series of images into a panorama, but the visual impact is different. And, if you aren’t careful with your exposure settings, you can get a result that doesn’t merge well. The bottom image was taken using “Auto” exposure control and as I moved the camera up to where the sky was in the image, the exposure changed. All I could do was to throw out those images where the exposure didn’t match and you can see the result: the image doesn’t extend to ground level.

Panorama of the Dosewallips Road (Trail)
Panorama without the ground level view

Hiking into the Green

Hiking into the Green

Typically, I convert an image into black and white using one of Lightroom’s presets or B&W profiles as a starting place. In this case, I used the local adjustment tool and desaturated the whole image, then switched to erase mode and removed the desaturation from the foliage on the riverbank. The desaturation technique is pretty much a blunt instrument approach: it doesn’t provide the fine tonal adjustments that are available using other techniques. However, this image didn’t require a lot of fine adjustment.

This the the Dosewallips River at the point where the road was washed out several years ago. There is a trail bypassing the washout that runs above through the woods… however, when the river is low the trail along the bank is quicker and doesn’t involve climbing up a hundred feet or so.

A Brushy Trail

A Brushy Trail

There is a huge backlog of trail maintenance in most of our National Parks from years and years of underfunding. Another national shame.

The trail here is still easy to follow and just down valley from us was a volunteer team from the Washington Trails Association cutting back the brush from the trail. (While observing all social distancing requirements)

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: