This young buck was not shy, because it has lived its life in the National Park, where there isn’t any hunting allowed … so humans aren’t recognized as ‘the enemy’.
I was going through and organizing photos from the film days and found that there were a couple of photos that I had taken that could be combined into panoramas. This one was from a hike along Happy Lake Ridge in the Olympic National Park. The view is across the Elwha River valley over to Hurricane Ridge.
The Happy Lake Ridge trail is seldom hiked … even less since the Elwha Road washed out adding miles to access the trailhead. It is a nice loop trail, the upper end dropping down to Boulder Lake and then out through the Boulder Creek Trail and the (undeveloped) Olympic Hot Springs. With the wash out of the road, there are several miles of doubling back to get to the parking lot… but it is still mostly a loop.
The Hoh Lake Trail runs from the Hoh River Trail (the primary access to those climbing Mt Olympus) up past Hoh Lake and on to connect with the High Divide loop at Bogachiel Pass (Olympic National Park). We were camped in Seven Lakes Basin and took a day trip down to Hoh Lake. This was the trail near the top. I was concerned about the clouds … often an indication that the weather is changing … but it stayed clear for the rest of our hike.
On the return hike, I was rounding a rock spur and found myself about 6 feet from a black bear. We were both startled … I’m not sure who was more surprised. But the bear had quicker reflexes and was off the trail and down in the brush and trees before I could even think about raising my camera.
(another image from my Archive folder)
The Enchanted Valley is on the upper section of the East Fork of the Quinault River valley. This chalet was built back in the 1930’s and has been relocated several times to move it away from the river. There are plans to move it to a safer location … since the river keeps changing its banks. (It’s always interesting in the early summer to hear if the chalet has made it through another winter)
There is no camping allowed in the chalet itself … and I wouldn’t want to share it with all the mice, anyway. The valley has heavy usage with many people either hiking in and back out, or continuing up the valley, across Anderson Pass and down the West Fork of the Dosewallips. One of the easier hikes across the Olympic National Park.
(another image recovered from my Archive file)
(more found images from my archive) The top image shows why Hart Lake (Upper Duckabush in the Olympic National Park) is sometimes called Heart Lake (but since there is another Heart Lake — also heart shaped — also in the ONP). So I continue to call this one Hart Lake. If you look carefully in the lower right corner of the top image (click on it for a bigger view), you will see the little green dot that is our tent.