Hiking Olympic National Park
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2015 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Did the trip to Mink Lake, stayed there for 2 nights, with a day hike up the ridge towards Deer Lake. The hike to Mink Lake is the steepest part that I saw - definitely enough to get you huffing and puffing. After that, once the trail hits the ridge it follows a gentle descent towards Deer Lake. Mostly rocky trail, since it clearly forms a stream during heavy rains or spring runoff, but there are patches where it's soft, springy soil. Quite enjoyable. Mink Lake is very shallow, maybe 3 ft deep at most, with a mushy bottom. I managed to take a dunk, but it's not ideal swimming territory by any means. Though there are crayfish in the creek feed the lake near the campsites.
The trail has been cleared of all windfall, limbs and rocks to the lake. Snow begins at 2800 feet (aprox. 1/2 mile before the lake) 5 to 6 feet of snow at the lake. Shelter is ok, lake 50% melted out. Snow shoes desireable around the lake and beyond. Snow was falling and 6 inches of fresh snow was on the ground.Deep snow in the high country.
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