May 15th, 2012


Hiking in the Olympics

Last Sunday, we went up to Olympic National Forest, specifically the area around Lake Crescent and Storm King Ranger Station [PDF], for some day hiking. The "we" in this case was Kit, Trey, and me; the kids were at home with Auntie since this was a bit beyond their current hiking ability.

The weather was excellent. Even the drive out there and back was enjoyable.

I followed the Barnes Creek trail for a ways. The trail traces the progress of the creek from Lake Crescent up a ravine towards the mountain ridge. I didn't go that far, by any stretch; estimating from trail descriptions, I think I went about 2.8 miles and up maybe 800-1000 ft (net). Hard to estimate altitude changes since I'm not that experienced a hiker.

Barnes Creek trail branches off from Marymere Falls trail, which is a relatively level and popular trail. Marymere Falls is the landmark featured on all the highway signs and it is, to be fair, quite beautiful.

That trail was heavy with people, most clearly not braced for "serious" hiking. (Young girls in flip-flops? Really, parents, you let them hike in those?) As soon as I turned off onto Barnes Creek trail, though... silence. (Except for water noise, anyway.) I was out on that trail for hours and encountered only one other group of hikers.

So, everyone, here's my tip for hiking solitude: Go almost to the advertised point of interest and then turn left.

Enjoy some pictures! More browsable-sized photos behind the cut. Go to the album for huge-sized versions.

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