Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition
by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2016 Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
We started at the lower trail head and went to the bottom of the chute. There was about 3 feet of snow covering approximately 1/8th of the trail, 2 or 3 sections of it, which made the hiking a mite difficult. There were quite a few people, probably on the order of 30 or so, in 5 or 6 groups; fairly steady stream in my opinion. About half of the road is washed out about a mile above the lower trailhead, it's just wide enough to pas a narrow truck, but it's still scary looking. Snowpack on the lower 1/3rd and upper 1/3rd of the road to the upper trailhead past the washout. The hike is a bit muddy, but we LOVED it, stunning views, fair weather (chilly but dry, not too much breeze). It would be a four star trail, but there were just a few too many people (all nice though) :-)
Maybe I'm a wimp,but this trail kicked my butt.I was sweating and out of breath before the trail registration box was out of sight.It climbs elevation very quickly and doesn't let up at any piont.From the upper lot where the toilet is,you gain 2000 feet in under 2 miles.On the other hand,once you break out of the woods and the switchbacks, there are views,flowers,and geological wonders to stop and investigate every few steps so you have plenty of excuse for pausing."Really,I just had to look at this fascinating rock a little closer(puff puff)"There are quite a few places where the trail turns very slippery from a zillion little stones moving underfoot as you move upward,trying to gain traction.I'm sure walking poles would have helped.The views are a given,and just as beautiful as everyone else says they are.A telephoto would have been great.The topper for this hike?Ten to twelve mountain goats(babies included)were right at the summit with us,totally unafraid, climbing around within 5 feet of hikers.What a photo op! Last word...the return trip is going to hurt just as much as the climb.Walking poles!
Intersting change of geography as you hike through forest till gaining the ridge, breaking out of the trees to spectacular views of Hood Canal, Olympic peaks, Mt Rainier and other Cascades. Gains plenty of elevation, offering a great workout. Was almost snow-free in early-December 2002.
Strenuous, steep climb, but the views are well worth the effort.
The meadow just below the summit is currently snow-covered. Snowshoes aren't necessary, but you should be prepared to hike on snow (I wouldn't go up without trekking poles, an ice axe, and gators). We also saw several sets of cat tracks; hikers should stay in groups.
I think the trail is a nice one.Its kept up and I seen alot of animals on it.My friend has also hicked it an dthey seen mt.goats and fed them.We did'nt get to go that high cuz there was alot of snow.But on that trail you can go off to this place called the shute and sled down the side of the mountain.I enjoyed it.
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