A Surprise Panorama

View from Happy Lake Ridge Trail

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.

Above the Clouds — for a while

Above the Clouds

Another image from near the Deer Park Campground in Olympic National Park. This shows the clouds in the valleys looking south into the center of the park. Somewhere in there is the Graywolf River valley and the valleys of Cameron Creek and Grand Creek. When you see weather like this in the Olympics, enjoy the sun while you can. Once the sun rises high enough to warm the valley air, the cloud layer rises. Then you have the tops of the cloud layer joining you and covering you. See below.

Cloud moving up from below

Fog Coming In

Fog Coming In

This photo was taken on my way up Mt Ellinor (see the previous post) on a day when the weather was deteriorating rapidly. It was a good hike anyway. The funny thing that happened was that when I returned to my car, I found that someone had decorated it with a bagel stuck on my radio antenna. (see below)

And no, I didn’t eat the bagel. (I was a little surprised that it wasn’t attacked by crows or ravens.

Bagel on Antenna

Constance Pass

View North up the Dungeness River valley

This is the view north from Constance Pass, the divide between the Dosewallips valley and (above) the Dungeness River Valley. You can just make out some of Vancouver Island around the Victoria area across the Strait of Juan De Fuca. This area is mostly in the Buckhorn Wilderness area of the Olympic National Forest, not in the Olympic National Park.

Along the ridge near Constance Pass are a couple of rock shelters (shown below). I haven’t been able to track down their origin. However, they must have provided a welcome windbreak during stormy weather.

Rock Windbreak
View over rock windbreak looking south to The Brothers.

Clouds and Mt Stuart

Clouds moving in
Mt Stuart with Clouds Moving In

I was on top of the South Summit of Mt Engels when I took these photos. Mt Stuart is the highest non-volcanic peak in Washington State and provides some challenging climbs in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of the Central Cascades. I prefer not having to carry a lot of ropes and hardware … I took a climbing course long ago, but mostly to know enough to keep myself out of harm’s way.

I’ve always liked the clouds that were coming in. A storm moving through. I was glad it was a day hike.

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