Barefoot Jake: Hike Olympic Mountains

Walking Olympic National Park and Peninsula with my camera. Camping, Backpacking and Minimalist as a lifestyle.

Syncline Trail Canyonlands

  Winter hiking the Syncline Trail in Canyonlands National Park.  This is a loop hike that leads to  near the bottom of the canyon near the Upheavel Dome.  Walking this 'trail' is not easy.  The National Park Service has classified it as 'strenuous'.

  The route lets you descend over 1,000'+ of elevation.  A hiker finds themselves even doing some light bouldering on sections of trail.  There is seasonal water at the bottom of the canyon; near the Crater Spur Trail intersection.  

  This ones one of my favorite loop day hikes of all time to date and that is saying a lot.  

Warning:  Not suggested for hikers with the fear of heights or scrambling skills.  Path may be very icy in winter.  Call ranger station for weather updates.  

Syncline Trail
Syncline Loop Trail

Section Hiking Pacific Crest Trail

We backpacked to Tunnel Falls and then section hike the Pacific Crest Trail back to Cascade Locks, Oregon.  This trip was done in spring, so logistics were a bit tricky; with the incoming weather and the fluctuation of the snow line.

The popular Eagle Creek Trail is lovely.  There had to be a heck of a lot of explosives used to create this walking path.  It leads you to a series of waterfalls along the way.

Tunnel Falls is equally splined.  I was happy to have my rain gear, because of all the spray off the falls and drips from the rock wall above.

We made camp near the highest point in the route, right at the snow line.  It was a wet and cold night at that elevation.  Dinner was a bit chilly.  Then because of the weather, we called it an early night to our tents.

The next morning we walked north on the Pacific Crest Trail.  After a few hours we made the long descent from the high country, to the Columbia River Gorge below.   Backpacking across the 'Bridge of the Gods' in the afternoon to enter Washington State on foot, that was a cool experiance.

eagle creek trail
Eagle Creek Trail

Photography in Quinault

The Quinault river valley can be an enchanting place for photography.  Its temperate rainforest is always changing hour by hour.  A person could spend a lifetime here taking pictures.  My favorite time to wander has became during the off season.

Each season a different scene is created.  Real treasures can be found, if one does not mind getting wet.  The valley can receive several inches a day in precipitation.

Wildlife can also be found with a keen eye.  Olympic Elk, Bald Eagles and Black Bear are often seen.  Salmon of all various species can be viewed as they make there way to their spawning grounds.  Viewing all of this can be a real treat to an outdoorsman.

Lake Quinault

12 Months in the Olympic Mountains - 2014

  I have been blessed to be able to sleep out in the Olympic Mountains all 12 months in 2014.  Below is a video slideshow of a few of my favorite photographs, taken while backpacking the Olympic National Park.  This is my Year in Review!

gossamer gear trail ambassador
Summit of Mount Baldy - Spring in the Olympic Mountains 2014

Gossamer Gear Type 2 Review

The Gossamer Gear Type 2 is a multi-use backpack.  It is constructed from the new Robic fabric and features air mesh shoulder straps.  Designed for the weekend warrior or may even be used as a lifestyle pack.

I have personally tested this day pack in the Olympic Mountains - in the form of hiking, cycling, backcountry fishing, urban hiking and even as a photography bag.  It performed well on all aspects.  I was impressed on how comfortable the shoulder stapes are.  The two external water bottle pockets also fit my function needs.

This pack can also be used everyday as a lifestyle kit.  My laptop and tablet fit nice-n-cozy inside the hydration sleeve.  The main compartment has enough volume and space for extra layers; much needed while living in the Pacific Northwest!

Gossamer Gear Type 2 Review

Moved Chalet

  The Enchanted Valley Chalet was at risk of falling into the East Fork Quinault River in 2014.  A move was necessary to save the historic building from a migrating river channel.  The unpredictable flow of water compromising the foundation of this structure.

  So in the summer of 2014, the powers that be moved the building to a temporary home and prolonged the life of the chalet.

Conditions of the trip:  Rain, freezing fog and lots of wet.

Move chalet

Quinault Lake Shore Trail

The Lake Shore Trail is part of the local Quinault National Recreational Trail System inside the Olympic National Forest.  This hiking path is used by hikers and tourist that visit from all over the world.  It's primary use is foot traffic between the Willaby Campground and Lake Quinault Lodge; by visitors looking to avoid road walking.

This one mile trail is a lovely way to see the lake and get a glimpse into the Olympic Mountains on a clear day.  Often Bald Eagles and King Fishers can also be seen with some luck.

It is my suggestion to connect your walk into the Rain Forest Nature Loop, for a perfect way to experience the area.   There old growth trees, ferns and variety of other things can be experienced.

hiking quinault
Trail starts near Falls Creek Campground