Hiking Olympic National Park
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2015 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Hit the trail at 8:45 cool weather and a nice hike to Mary's Falls. I'm not in great shape; 55 pound pack with waders,boots,and fly fishing gear did slow me down, but all steep parts of the trail came with a nice easy grade to catch my breath. Thought about a break longer than just water but did not need it .Mary's Falls camp sight was right on the river flat and smooth.The 2 guys tnat showed up Sat. pointed out the OUTHOUSE by the main trail off to the left .My thanks to them;A seat beats a hole in the dirt back in the brush. the bear wire is close to the camp sight and I found can still let squrials have a snack . Nice little hole in a new stuffsack :( Lots of deer right in camp most nights.Fishing was great.All fly fishermen and women said big and bushy flys was the way to go,but I found a very long leader and a small #18 Coper John did the trick just at dusk.Can't wait for the wife to let me do this trip again. P.S some yellow jackets at camp' some one siad alot of them along the trail and at camp in Aug.
This is a great beginner trail or even one to take the kids on, the trails are wide and dry with some interesting sights along the way. I guided a trip through the Elwha in march, I would not recomend doing the same though. The conditions were quite soggy, One necessary trick that made all my clients jealous was my lightweight umbrella. AHH I stayed mostly dry during the days on the trail by rigging the umbrella to cover my body and most of my pack. Start at wiskey bend and hike the 2.6 miles to Humes Ranch; an old homestead. I would then recomend you camp the next night at the Elkhorn rangers station there is plenty of room to spread out and the views are wonderful. We chose to day hike up to Hayes River rangers station during an off day. Another option would be a day hike up dodger point for a glimpse of mount olympus.
This was a fun and easy hike that can be turned into a nice loop by heading down to the river 1.2 miles from the trail head on the Rica Canyon trail. Be sure to check out the Goblins Gate. Stay on the river for the next couple of miles and you will come to the old Humes Ranch. About 1.5 miles further upstream is a bridge that crosses the Elwha River. This is a great picture spot. To finish the loop, go back to Humes Ranch and go right (uphill) at the junction. From here its a straight shot to the trail head.
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