Barefoot Jake: Hike Olympic Mountains

3 Day Trip in Olympic

Hike for 3 days in Olympic National Park.  This is the most popular kind of backpacking trip, since most hikers have time period available for an adventure.  I will focus on the hikes that only require one trailhead; also known as an Out N Back.

Backpacking on the peninsula can be done year around, if you know the conditions of that specific area.   I suggest always checking with a ranger station for trail conditions, know the weather forecast and always plan for rain; no matter what time of year.

The drive times to the trailhead can depend on what end of the peninsula you choose to visit.   Minimum from Seattle or Portland can be 3 hours, but also can range up to 5 hours.  You should consider this when planning the first nights camping location.

A person can reflect on the Wilderness Campsite Map, but never use this for navigation purposes.  Having the proper maps and knowing how to read it can make all the difference to your successful trip.

 Wilderness camping permits can be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles or Lake Quinault.  One can also 'self-register' at most popular trailheads if you do not plan to visit a quota area; marked as red tents (on the map mentioned above). I will not be listing any of the destinations inside those area, because they are already overused.  Keep in mind that the self register permits are often not in the boxes at the trailhead.  Its best not to take the risk and just get necessary documentation at a ranger station.

hiking olympic national park
Olympic Mountains

Review: Gossamer Gear Gorilla 2014

A review of the 2014 Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack.  I tested this pack on the Olympic Peninsula during three and four season conditions.  During my tested I carried loads much higher than the manufactures suggested weight comfortably.

The Gorilla can be used by a minimalist hiker on backpacking trips ranging from 3 - 7 days.  Unofficially certified for the weekend warrior.  This backpack can also be used for day adventures in winter; when a hiker needs more spaces.

This backpacks best strong point is its functional water bottle pockets. A hiker can access water or snacks from either side, without removing the backpack. Secondly it has a large stretch mesh pocket on the rear of the pack; allowing a backpacker to store small things or a wet tent fly. This is an important feature when living in the pacific northwest.

gossamer gear gorilla
Gossamer Gear Gorilla in the Olympic Mountains

Review: Toaks Wood Burning Stove

A camping review of the Toaks Titanium Wood Burning Stove.  This system uses little pieces of wood as a fuel source to heat the stove.  It may be a popular option for lightweight backpacking solo or with a partner.

I paired it with the Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot to use it as a complete cooking system.  The beautiful thing is you can collapse the whole thing into itself; inside the pot.  Also, a hiker rarely need to carry liquid fuel; since it burns on wood.   This will save you weight and space on long trips.

 Burning the stove for an extended period lets you create a reserve of coals on the bottom of the reservoir.  I do this with the large pot to cook real food!

Comparing to other wood burning systems I used in the past, the Toaks version impressed me the most.  I believe it to have something to do with the height of the burn chamber.  Boy, this sucker can put out some flame without anything on top, then add the pot and it puts all the heat to the right places. The design does not allow too much flame to escape around the outside of the pot; this maximizes heat efficiency.

toaks wood stove review
Toaks Titanium Wood Burning Stove

Bus: Seatac to Lake Quinault

Ride the bus from Seatac to Lake Quinault, Olympic National Forest.  This is done by utilizing four different buses from the city to the rain forest.  It takes a rider roughly takes 6 hours to get from the airport to the Lake Quinault Lodge.

Public transportation is the perfect solution to save money. This also gives the option to backpack inside the Park interior; with a 15 mile road walk. A visitor who does not wanting to rent a expensive car; may also benefit.  Extra planning is needed for a successful adventure.

bus quinault
Bus from Seatac to Lake Quinault

Review: Bobcat Kovea Stove

The Flat Cat Gear Bobcat Kovea backpacking stove is a system for the used to boil water or cook real food in the woods.  This stove has a handful of parts, but is simple to set up in the backcountry.  I found it to be very efficient during my four season testing in the very wet Pacific Northwest.

This system can be used with esbit, alcohol or canister as a fuel source.  I purchased it for the convince use with a fuel canister.  Bad winter weather or traveling with a partner, its nice just to flip a switch.   I was surprised how efficient it was in the long term.

My stove system was used on a ten day walk across Olympic National Park this last summer. We had two hot meals a day and still had plenty of fuel left at the end of the trip.

Bobcat Kovea Stove Review
Kovea Spider Canister Stove - striker - Bobcat floor and windscreen - Evernew 1.3 liter titanium pot

Mount Anderson

Mount Anderson is a 3 day backpacking trip for most.  This mountain is the tenth highest peak in the Olympic Mountains.  It has four glaciers; the Eel, Anderson, Hanging and Linsley.  Most of which are receded to the point of almost extinction.

The Linsley and Anderson glaciers feed the Quinault river, which drains into the Pacific Ocean.  The Eel and Hanging glacier melt into the Dosewallips drainage - finally ending its journey in the Hood Canal.

The mountain is commonly accessible from one of two trailheads, which are the Dosewallips and Graves Creek.  Both are over a 15 mile hike into the Park interior.  For this hike I will be walk from the Quinault side (Graves Creek Trailhead).

A 14 mile walk through gorgeous old-growth rain forest with camping gear to our basecamp; seen on the Olympic Camp Map.  From that campsite, we day hiked up the mountain and back as a day adventure. Then on day three, we returned to the original trailhead.

Winter campsite - after a 20 degree night

anderson pass trail
Anderson Pass Trail

anderson pass trail
Melted Anderson Glacier (very low snow year)

Thanks for reading - Barefoot Jake

Review: Sea to Summit Mosquito Pyramid Net

The Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito net is a pyramid shaped bug shelter for camping.  The Single size was tested; meaning it only has enough room for one hiker.  It is very minimal having four walls and no floor, so its perfect for the ultralight backpacker or anyone looking to shave weight off of their back.

All you need is a trekking pole or branch to elevate.  Then use four rocks, sticks or tent stakes to construct the length and width of the shelter.

I decided to add it to my kit, to help keep the mosquitos away from my face at night. The netting will not keep very small bugs out.  It fits perfectly under all my ultralight tarps and pyramid shelters.  The only variable is extending or contracting the height by anchor cord.

I have used this protection in peak bug season in the Olympic Mountains.  There were times I was very grateful to have this piece of kit.

Sea to Summit Mosquito Net Review
Sea to Summit Mosquito Net - Pitching instructions on stuff sack (my hand size is Large)