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Hiking in the Olympics [May. 15th, 2012|11:30 pm]
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.


[User Picture]From: harvardheinous
2012-05-16 03:09 pm (UTC)
Any eyes peering out at you from inside that tree??
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2012-05-16 03:12 pm (UTC)
Not that I could see, but I certainly did check. :D It was around midday at that point, so critters were probably sleeping further down inside.
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[User Picture]From: toorsdenote
2012-05-16 04:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, awesome! Pittsburgh has great forests, but there's nothing like Pacific Northwest forests.

If you're ever looking for more remote hiking options, my friend Jenn blogs hiking logs (and other stuff) at canyonwren.livejournal.com. I think she lives in Snohomish, so I'm not sure how big the overlap in relevant hiking spots is.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2012-05-17 05:59 pm (UTC)
I'll check that out. Thanks for the tip!
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2012-05-17 05:59 pm (UTC)
I did see a pair of slugs out. But we also get those in our backyard so it didn't seem too impressive. :)
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[User Picture]From: twigmouse
2012-05-17 09:47 am (UTC)
Very nice! I miss hiking like that. There's plenty of it around here, beautiful scenery (even with the lack of real mountains), but I just don't have the time to get out in it very much.
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[User Picture]From: ankhorite
2012-05-18 04:57 am (UTC)

Forest Photos

Sheesh, Nic, those photos are calendar-worthy. Just gorgeous.
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[User Picture]From: gatcat
2012-05-22 07:47 am (UTC)
Mmmmm. Just how I remember it. If I weren't living in another kind of paradise, I'd move back there in a bat's breath.
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