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Wonderland Trail – Westside – Mowich Lake to Longmire

Route: Wonderland Trail – Westside Section – Mowich Lake To Longmire (Plus Side Trips)
Distance: 38.5 (Around 35 Miles On The Wonderland Trail)
Days: 4
Longest Day: 11.3 Miles
Campsites: Mowich Lake, Golden Lakes, Klapatche Park, Devils Dream

Wonderland West Route

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Update (8-10-2014): Due to high temps and melting snow there has been reports on NWHikers that the Mowich Bridges may be out possibly adding a sketchy ford. Please always check trail conditions with a Backcountry Ranger before attempting any hike.

Dad and I were lucky once again this year and got a permit for the section of the Wonderland Trail that we wanted. Even better we got the camps we requested.  We left a car down at Longmire and then Mom drove us up a couple of days later and dropped us off to camp at Mowich Lake so that we could get an early start on the first day of our hike.

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Olympic National Park – Hoh River Trail

Route: Trailhead To Blue Glacier (Round Trip)
Distance: 36.2 Miles
Days: 3
Longest Day: 14.8 Miles
Campsites: Lewis Meadows, Martin Creek

Full Route

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Ever since my Dad and I went up the Hoh River Trail in 2011 we have wanted to go back. My brother has spent the last four years in Japan for work and has been home visiting for the last couple of weeks, He wanted to do a backpacking trip with us.

We debated between heading into the Enchanted Valley or, if the conditions allowed, doing a trip up the Hoh River Trail to the Blue Glacier. Everything seemed to fall into place when the ladder that the park installs during the non-winter months to assist hikers down a large avalanche chute was installed for the season a few days before our trip was due to begin.  With the ladder in place and decent enough weather forecasted we decided that the Hoh River Trail trip was a go.

We piled into the car and drove the 3 hours to the Hoh Visitor Center and got our permits.

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Mima Mounds

Route: Mima Mounds
Distance: Around 2 Miles

 

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Mima Mounds Panoramic

The weather was spectacular today so Liv and I decided to take the boys out the the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve. We hiked through the wildflowers for around 2 miles (Paved Trail and the South Trail – Small Loop) and then headed back to the car. They boys loved it!

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Mima Mounds Trail

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Mima Mounds

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Mima Mounds Trails

Yakima Skyline/Rim Trail

Route: Yakima Skyline/Rim Trail To Gracie Point
Distance: Around 9.5 Miles

Yakima Skyline Trail Route

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I was born and raised on the west side of Washington State. I’m used to trees, mountains, rain and a lack of things that slither and try to bite me. However, I also like to experience new things, so while visiting my in-laws over the 3 day weekend I went out for a day hike into the desert outside of Selah, WA on the Yakima Skyline/Rim Trail.

I had asked on the Washington Hikers and Climbers Facebook group if anyone knew of any hikes in the area and the Yakima Skyline/Rim Trail was suggested.

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McLane Creek Nature Trail

Route: McLane Creek Nature Trail

Distance: Around A 1 Mile

Photos: Flickr Set

Route

Route

My family and I went out for a short nature walk around the McLane Creek Nature Trail. We explored the main trail around the beaver pond and then checked out some of the shorter side trails.

The McLane Creek Nature Trail, which is located just outside Olympia, Washington circles around a beaver pond and along the McLane Creek. It is a very family friendly trail and offers a boardwalk over the most of the trail so you can keep out of the mud. Lots of birds call the pond home and if you are lucky you can see turtles and spawning salmon if you go in the fall.

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Beaver Pond

 

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Trail

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McLane Creek

 

 

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Beaver Pond

Olympic National Park – High Divide Loop

Route: High Divide Loop – Side Trip To Hoh Lake
Distance: 22 Miles
Days: 2
Longest Day: Around 12 Miles
Campsites: Hoh Lake
Photos: Flickr Set


Map
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Dad and I wanted one last hike to cap off a great year of hiking. The weather was amazing so we packed up the car and headed north around the Olympic Peninsula to hike the High Divide Trail.

When I was little my family hiked up to Deer Lake and then day hiked up to the High Divide but I had never done the loop before. It was time to change that.

At The Trailhead
At The Trailhead

We left the trailhead around 9 in the morning and made good time to Sol Duc Falls.

At The Trailhead
Sol Duc Falls

From the falls we headed up the Deer Lake Trail towards Deer Lake.

Deer Lake Trail
Deer Lake Trail

The 3 miles from Sol Duc Falls to Deer Lake are fairly step and rocky. However, about half way up to Deer Lake there is a tree with a butt. That sight helped us forget that we were climbing as we joked about it and before long we had made it to Deer Lake.

Deer Lake Trail
Deer Lake Trail

Butt Tree
Butt Tree

Deer Lake
Deer Lake

After eating lunch at Deer lake we continued the climb up to the High Divide. The trail is a fairly constant climb from the lake to the High Divide. But the Fall colors where vibrant so it was easy to keep our minds off the fact that we had climbed for nearly 8 miles.

Heading Out From Deer Lake
Heading Out From Deer Lake

Small Tarn
Small Tarn

High Divide Trail
High Divide Trail And Fall Colors

Rocky Trail
Rocky Trail

After a few miles of climbing we got our first good look at the 7 Lakes Basin and Lunch Lake. I remember when I was a small kid both my brother and I brought our fishing poles up to Lunch Lake. The water was so clear and blue. Even though we did not catch any fish and I was only 7 years old it is still one of my clearest memories. It was really neat to see it again all these years later.

7 Lakes Basin Sign
7 Lakes Basin Sign

Lunch Lake
Lunch Lake

After enjoying the view of Lunch Lake we continued our climb up towards the High Divide. Just before the top is a fork and we took the Hoh Lake Trail towards Hoh Lake to camp for the night.

Hoh Lake Trail
Hoh Lake Trail

Olympic Marmot
Olympic Marmot

Hoh Lake is 1.2 miles from the Junction. We hiked around the edge of a ridge and then dropped down to the lake. Coming into the lake we saw a black bear on the other side of the ridge. We never got close enough to it to get good pictures, but we did take the opportunity to walk around the lake.

Hoh Lake
Hoh Lake

Hoh Lake
Hoh Lake

Hoh Lake also has a stunning view of Mount Olympus and as the sun started to set we were greeted with an alpine glow on the mountain.

Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus

After a long day of climbing we climbed into our tent and slept well.

The next morning we woke up and headed out back towards the High Divide. We had to hike the rest of the High Divide Loop today which would result in around 12 miles of Hiking. We took a few minutes once we left the lake to enjoy the view of the Hoh River and Mount Olympus then hiked backed up to the High Divide Trail seeing a bull elk along the way.

Ready To Leave Hoh Lake
Ready To Leave Hoh Lake

Looking Towards The Hoh River And Mount Olympus
Looking Towards The Hoh River And Mount Olympus

Bull Elk
Bull Elk

High Divide Trail Junction Sign
High Divide Trail Junction Sign

Once back on the High Divide trail we took a short detour to Bogachiel Peak and then worked our way across the High Divide towards Heart Lake. The entire way was full of Fall colors and a constant view of Mount Olympus and the Blue Glacier.

7 Lakes Basin From Bogachiel Peak
7 Lakes Basin From Bogachiel Peak

Me On The High Divide Trail
Me On The High Divide Trail

Fall Colors
Fall Colors

Mount Olympus And Blue Glacier
Mount Olympus And Blue Glacier

Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus

Heart Lake
Heart Lake

We ate a quick lunch at Heart Lake and then hiked down to the Sol Duc River Trail and stayed on it all the way back to the trailhead.

Hiking Downhill Finally!
Hiking Downhill Finally!

Back At The Trailhead
Back At The Trailhead!

This trip should be on anyone’s list who wants to spend some time in the Olympics. Especially in the fall.

Olympic National Park – Dosewallips To North Fork Of The Quinault

Route: Dosewallips Washout To North Fork Of The Quinault Trailhead
Distance: Around 60 Miles
Days: 6
Longest Day: 17.1 Miles
Campsites: Forest Service Road, Deception Creek, Dose Meadows, Hayes River Ranger Station, Low Divide
Photos: Flickr Set


Map
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Goofing Off On Hayden Pass

Days after my dad and I completed the 36 mile hike up to Mount Olympus in 2011 we started looking into where we would take a multi-day hike this year. After much discussion we finally settled on a thru hike of the park from the Dosewallips Road washout to the North Fork of the Quinault trail head with a side trip to Lost Pass.

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Olympic National Park – Flapjack Lakes

Route: Staircase to Flapjack Lakes and Gladys Divide
Distance: Around 20 Miles
Days: 2
Longest Day: 14 Miles
Campsites: Flapjack Lakes
Photos: Flickr Set


Map
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Dad and me took advantage of the amazing weather this last weekend to do a overnight backpacking trip up to Flapjack lakes in the Olympic National Park.

Ready To Head Out

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Olympic National Park – East Fork Of The Quinault Trail (Enchanted Valley)

Route: Graves Creek Trailhead To Enchanted Valley (Round Trip)
Distance: Around 28 Miles
Days: 2
Longest Day: 14 Miles
Campsites: Enchanted Valley
Photos: Flickr Set


Map
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After our trip up to Mount Olympus on the Hoh River Trail last year my Dad and I were ready to head back into the Olympic National Park. The Enchanted Valley is a huge valley nearly 14 miles up the  East Fork of the Quinault River. The valley walls are covered in waterfalls and right in the middle of the valley is an old Chalet that was built in the early 1900s. The building now acts as a backcountry ranger station and emergency shelter. It’s a pretty special place regardless of what time of year one hikes there.

The Enchanted Valley
The Enchanted Valley

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Willapa Hills

Route: Parents House to Willapa Hills
Distance: Around 8 Miles (Round Trip)
Days: 2
Longest Day: 4 Miles

We got some new gear over the winter and wanted to try it out so we hiked the 4 miles from my parent’s house to some property they own in the Willapa Hills. This was just a quick overnight trip.

View From Camp
View From Camp

Dusk
Dusk

Fire
Fire

Morning Fog
Morning Fog

Camp
Camp

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