Just getting tired of photos of cool, damp weather. I need to get out into the mountains to soothe my soul. This is one of my favorite hikes … the North Fork Skokomish trail. It was the route that the first (white) explorers followed crossing the southern Olympics in the late 19th century. I enjoy it for the lush greenery … and the fact that you can hike for miles without having to climb a ridge.
I really like Madrone … as long as they are in the park, like this one. I have a couple small ones in the green belt along my yard and they are continually dropping leaves or bark into the yard. It isn’t just in the autumn … seems to always be something. Better they live in the park and don’t generate so much raking.
They are pretty, though.
The Skokomish Range from Mt Ellinor
This was a late fall hike to the summit of Mt Ellinor and the view northeast to some of the Skokomish Range (the southeast corner of the Olympic Mountains … and outside of Olympic National Park). It was a light snow year … typically by mid-November the snow is deep enough to cut off access. While the weather here looks great, on the way back down (the opposite direction from the view here, and much easier traveling) the clouds moved in and it was socked in with thick fog. Good thing I knew where I was.
The mountains across the valley is the Bailey Range, which run down the center of the Olympic Mountains. The view is from Hurricane Ridge, where there is a visitor center over 5000 feet. The valley full of clouds is the Elwha River … one of the huge success stories in salmon restoration. Two dams that were erected in the early years of the 20th century, without the required salmon ladders, were removed which opened up miles of prime salmon habitat. There used to be 5 species of salmon plus steelhead that called the Elwha home, and some of those have returned … hopefully the rest will eventually follow.
More Autumn Colors (2)
The photo above is taken from the Staircase Loop Bridge across the North Fork Skokomish in Olympic National Park. Below is taken from the Loop Trail about half way between the bridge and the trailhead at Staircase.