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

Helpful Trail Signs

Keep on Trail

This is the Mt Elinor trail in the southeast corner of the Olympic Mountains (outside the Park). It gets a lot of visitors … both in the spring for folks warming up their snow climbing skills … and in the summer when the trail is very crowded and gets pretty trashed out from thoughtless hikers.

Bear Wire

Just for folks that don’t live in (or visit) bear country: A bear wire is a convenience for backpackers to hang food to keep it up and out of reach of bears. A heavy steel cable is run between two tress about 12 to 15 feet off the ground. The best ones have pulleys and cables to run your food bags up the the wire, the old versions required you to have cord or rope to throw over the wire. One of my gripes is that the maintenance of bear wires is lacking … the Olympic National Park has neglected the bear wires in favor of requiring (or strenuously recommending) bear proof canisters. These typically weight about 2 pounds. When you are getting up in years, that two pounds can make a pretty big difference in the pleasure of the trail.

Trail Sign on the Aurora Ridge Trail

This trail sign was on the Aurora Ridge Trail in the Olympic National Park. The trail is visited very infrequently … and the maintenance showed it. I only hiked a short section, there wasn’t any vista or destination within my dayhike range, so I just climbed up to the ridge line and then along the ridge for a mile or two before turning around.

Lake LaCrosse Basin

Lake LaCrosse Basin from above
The trail from Hart Lake to Lake LaCrosse Basin

LaCrosse Basin is in the headwaters of the Duckabush River in Olympic National Park. It is one of the most scenic areas, next to the High Divide (and a couple others that shall remain nameless to protect their pristine nature), but due to the multiple day hike necessary to access the area, it is not as crowded as other areas of the park. Depending on your route, it’s typically a 3 day hike in. (Doing it in 2 days is possible if you are very fit and like long days) That said, all the remote areas of the park are seeing increasing pressure from backcountry hikers. I expect that there will come a time where the whole park is subject to a reservation system to keep the fragile high country from being loved to death.

Port Townsend Waterfront

Port Townsend Waterfront

I liked the rayed sun through the viewfinder and was pleased with the capture being close to what I saw (except for some flaring that I hadn’t noticed. The 18 rays are a result of the lens iris being a rounded 9-blade diaphragm, but I’m not sure why it doubles the count. Maybe Wikipedia will know (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaphragm_(optics)) …

The dock in the foreground is the current Washington State Ferry terminal at Port Townsend (the other end of the route is Coupeville, Whidbey Island. In the distance is the north east corner of the Olympic Mountains.

Old Ferry Dock

Old Ferry Dock I
Old Ferry Dock II

This is the old ferry dock in downtown Port Townsend, Washington. In the early days of the town, the so-called “Mosquito Fleet” provided regular transportation around Puget Sound. Later, a scheduled ferry service was started and the current ferry provides service to Whidbey Island from a dock just a few blocks from this location.

I liked the Great Blue Heron on the top of the pilings in the upper photo … and in the far distance, Mt Rainier. The lower image shows just a hint of the Olympic Mountains … and a seagull standing on one leg.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: