Hiking Olympic National Park
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2015 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Intense ascent and descent. Bring trekking poles. Clouds quickly came in near summit, ruining our views :( Perfect training mountain, no technical moves required, just endurance.
This was a very pleasurable hike. So many beautiful forests, icycles hanging from rocks, birds, and amazing waterfalls that tower higher than the eye can see. I luckily had snoe shoes for this hike because at the top of the mountain there is SNOW up to the waste at least. This is in my opinion, an incredibly practical trail. It just basically goes straight up. The downfall of this trail was that it was so foggy at the top that there was basically no view and to me, a view is the reason I go through all the work to get up there. But the best part of this hike is that you can easily burn a thousand calories doing it, especially with snow-shoes.
Rob Holmes'' review does not match trail
Enjoyable hike. Starting at Staircase Ranger Station (note: need NPS pass!), took the north end of lake trail (note: the bridge for the 1-mile loop is down) so we could continue hiking along N. Fork of Skokomish River Trail past 1-mile loop. Beautiful rain forest until bridge - dense forest, moss galore, old growth trees amid secondary growth, 2-lane trail due to popularity of loop. Easy hike/walk. After loop bridge, trail climbs slightly, but still gradual elevation gain. Beaver forest fire (August 1985) has wiped out north section of trail along route. Less dense rainforest, but still enjoyable. Nice rest stop at junction of N. Fork Skykomish and Flapjack Lakes. Steeper switchbacks up to lakes, but ok. Beautiful bridge at Marina (?) creek - 2 miles from lakes. Hit snow 1 mile from lakes. Reasonable, not too deep. Snow covered lakes. Good time of year since less crowded - popular easy day hike!
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