Showing posts with label olympic national park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olympic national park. Show all posts

Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula: Gear List

  This is my suggested list of gear used for hiking around the Olympic Peninsula. Variations to adventure can be cycling, hiking, fishing, mushrooming or photography.  There are a lot of variables to building the your perfect list; including season, weather forecast and/or trip goals.  Consider starting with a base list and then customize it to your needs. 

Olympic Gear list

Ten Essentials & Suggestions

  • Sun and rain protection  -  Umbrella

  • First-aid  -  Kit

  • Extra Food  - Candy bars, ect.

  • Hydration  - Filter attached to large recycled water bottle

Need something to put it all in? This is the pack I use.

Did I miss something?  Have a question about this list?  Leave questions or comments below. 

Backpack across Olympic National Park

  Walking across the Olympic National Park from the north near Hurricane Ridge.  We would backpack south through the Olympic Mountains using a custom route.  Our path would include 2 days of off trial travel, intersect the Pacific Northwest Trail for a full day, sleeping on the shoulder of the Bailey Range and then continue southbound into the Quinault Rainforest; using a mostly high route.   

Join our 10 day adventure, told through photography and video.

Editors Warning: Map reading, route finding and compass required. Several of the days include a traverse that require basic mountaineering skills.  It is not suggested for someone that does not feel comfortable with exposer or leaving a trail.

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter
Lake Lillian Olympic
Second day off trail

Bailey Range: Stephen Basin

Join us while we traverse a section of the Bailey Range for 5 days. This backpacking trip took us into some of the best country the Olympic Mountains have to offer. Walking the divide between the Hoh and Elwha valleys, Olympic National Park. Stunning views of Mount Appleton, Mount Olympus, Mount Carrie, Stephen Peak, Mount Ferry, Mount Pulitzer, Mount Scott, Mount Dana and even motor vehicle traffic viewed on Hurricane Ridge.

  Editors Warning: Map reading, route finding and compass required. This traverse has several points where a fear of heights is not welcomed. There are also several bad gully crossings; a slip would be fatal. Rock scrambling and glacier travel skills are also required.

Bailey Range Traverse
Day 1:  Bailey Range Traverse

Backpack: Japan to Olympic Mountains

Spend seven days backpacking in the Olympic Mountains.  Accompanied by the founder of Locus Gear from Japan.  Walk a thought hike of the Olympic National Park from Dosewallips road to Quinault Rainforest; plus detours.  Story told through photography and video.

Dungeness Adventure - Olympic Peninsula

  The southeast side of the Olympic Peninsula is a lovely area for adventure.  Most of this corner feeds into the Dungeness River drainage.  Unique landscapes and forest can be found here.

  Our original plan had us in the mountainous zone of the Olympic Mountains.  Once we got there, I felt the snow conditions were too dangerous continue forward; on the route in our itinerary.  So we decided to go with a 'plan b walk'.

  This new plan would keep us out of the spring snow and camping in the high Olympic alpine for the remainder of the 4 days in the mountains.  It really worked out for the best and kept us out of spring avalanche danger.

Come alone on this adventure through photography and video.

golite chrome dome
Spring rains on the journey into the Olympic Mountains 

Hike Colonel Bob - Olympic Peninsula

  Adventuring up Colonel Bob has been on my list for some time.  Colonel Bob Trail starts near Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula and ascends to the area of several peaks that overlook the southern Olympic Mountains.  I put this hike off for several years, because it did not come very highly recommended by my peers; boy were they wrong.

  This walk has pristine views of the southern Olympic Mountains on a clear day.  There is also no real sign of man in the surrounding area on the landscape.  This is rare for how close it is to roads; giving you a real sense of wilderness.

  Colonel Bob can also be accessed from the Pete's Creek Trailhead on forest service roads.  This makes it popular by hikers in the summer months.  I feel by doing this, you cut the hike short in its full value.

 Back before I was born, the only way to walk up Colonel Bob was from Lake Quinault on the official trail.  To fully embrace this hike; one must come up the way the pioneers once walked.  By doing this you to have the adventure transition from lake, to old growth forest, sub alpine and finally mountainous.

Come along through photography and video.

Olympic wildflowers
Wildflowers in Quinault

Backpack Olympic Mountains - Spring Adventure

  A friend and I had some new gear to try for the 2014 hiking season, so we took them into the Olympic Mountains for a good testing.  The Olympic Mountains are one of the best places to test backpacking gear, it can be sunny skies one minute and start snowing the next; even in the summer months at elevation.  So we packed up our kit and headed off into a remote side of the Olympic Peninsula.

  Our route would us to a base camp in a less known lake and then spend 2 days peak bagging into nearby high points of this very rugged landscape.  It always a surprise to me how steep the terrain is on this side of the Olympic Mountains, but leaves a lover of Olympic Peninsula coming back for more torture.  

  The weather blocked our views during our first climb, but broke free the next morning; allowing for beautiful views during our next.  This side of the mountains is rarely photographed from the south.  Giving us a very remote peak into the Olympic National Park interior.  

  We had a 4 legged friend on this adventure in the Olympic National Forest; where dogs are allowed. 

  Come along on this adventure through photography and video. 

olympic lake
Olympic Mountain lake in spring

Backpack Queets Trial - Olympic Mountains

  The Queets Valley holds a special place in each and ever individual that visits this area.  It is truly one of the most remote places left in this country.  Everything is bigger in the Queets; from wildlife to trees.  The river itself is fed by the countless rainfall it gets each year; well as the Humes, Jeffers and Queets Glaciers.

  I would be accompanied by a friend during a big chunk of this adventure.  He would be joining on the backpacking portion and then part ways after a few days in the back country.

  The solo section of my travels would lead to the Lake Quinault area on local public transportation.  I would spend additional time in Quinault enjoying the touristy side of visiting a rainforest.  Its quite the contrast coming from barely seeing a soul, to people all over the place enjoying popular day hiking areas.

Few hours of off trail bushwhacking in the Queets drainage.  Very wet conditions.

New this Week!

  I was lucky enough to go on a 3 day backpacking trip this week.  After get back and endless hours of editing; ended up putting up several blog posts this week.  Want to recap and let everyone know about this new content.   Hope you had a nice week. -jake

Trip Reports:

Gear Reviews:

Cream Basin
Cream Basin, Bailey Range ONP

Beyond the Chalet

  A man that has inspired me for years sent an email last week, asking if I would like to accompany him on a walk up the Quinault River drainage.  His Olympic Mountain photography has personally inspired many of my adventures; often dreaming into these images during the winter months to get my wilderness fix.  Of coarse I accepted the invitation, it is an honor to walk with him.

  The original purpose of this trip was to enjoy the history that the Chalet represents.  Countless people have come from all over the world to enjoy this building through the years.  To be honest with you, after a few hours observing the damage the river is about to do to this structure, I lost interest in it.

  The Quinault valley was full of spring activity and countless wildlife.  A full day was spent watching life happen before our eyes.  Avalanches, Mountain Goats, Black Bear and Olympic Elk could all be observed in the same area.  Its was nature in its pure form.  An impression like this can be life changing.   Powerful and real, this is wilderness to me.

Quinault Trail
East Fork Quinault Trial

Revisiting the Enchanted Valley Chalet

Update Sept. 2014 - Chalet was moved back from the river.

Photo-essay for the Enchanted Valley Chalet as of April 1st 2014.

Possible key support to the structure, just hanging on by a few rocks.

A Special Message to my Readers

  A friend and I just got back down from 3 wonderful days up the Quinault drainage.  There will be more from that trip to follow in the coming days.  Until then, I wanted to say hello and thank you for your support.

Continued Support by:

You!  Without the reader, this website would be abandoned and lacking fresh content.  Sharing these wilderness places with others, is what keeps me going.  So please, leave a comment and say hello!

Honoring the Enchanted Valley Chalet

  In honor of the Chalet that probably wont last much longer.  I decided to put a fresh edit on some stock footage from a previous adventure.  Utilizing public transportation, human powered bicycle and my own two feet.   Covering just under 60 miles in my 4 days visiting the Olympic National Park.  I was blessed to see so much wildlife on this solo trip.  Countless Olympic Elk and numerous Black Bear just waking up out of winter hibernation.

  My most recent trip into the Quinault Rainforest, I got hammered with rain and heavy spring snow.  Looking back at this footage, cant help but feel blessed for having such good weather.  Didnt receive a drop of precipitation; wandering in my t-shirt most of  the time.

  Towards the end of the video, you can see how much of the meadow (where the building stands) the East Fork Quinault River has eroded away in the last few seasons.  Hope you enjoy this video, much as I did making it.  

Gear featured in film:  Footwear, backpack & camera used.

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Olympic Gear List - Winter, Spring & Autumn

Readers ask me all the time, 'I want to get out in the Olympic Mountains, but what gear is needed?'  There is no right answer to that question.  Variables are hiking style, goals, style of trip, season and conditions.  Its important that you learn what works best for you and tailor that kit to fit those needs.  The weather turns very quickly during all seasons in the PNW, so its important not to go too minimal that you are going to have a miserable trip, but only bring things you actually use.  Most 'ultralight' gear lists wont fly here, unless your lucky enough to catch the weather just right.

Here is a lightweight list I put together, that combines all my suggestions on average. 

Hurricane Ridge
Spring in the Olympic Mountains

Survival at Enchanted Valley Chalet

Update:  April 1st 2014 status of the Chalet; with video.
Sept. 2014 - Chalet was moved back from the river.

  I just jumped on a bus out of Lake Quinault headed back to civilization.  Spent the last few days upriver in unfavorable conditions.  Had a few extra days on my hands for a backpacking trip.  Why not spend them with the Enchanted Valley Chalet?  So I loaded up a bunch of food and set out.

  With all this rain in the Pacific Northwest this March, the trail is knee deep standing water in places, actual creeks running down the trail in others.  There were moments I was wondering to see a salmon headed upstream in the small cascades at my feet.  There was one creek to ford up to my hip in fast moving current.

 It was hard to break out my non waterproof camera in this conditions, without trying to destroy it.  So much moisture in the air, it was hard to keep condensation out of the housing and off the lenses.  I'm happy the rain gods spared my electronics to last another day.

 The forecast was spot on with the incoming storm.  Had hoped to stay up there longer, but late winter conditions where more than I was willing to endure being solo.   One thing to be pinned down in bad weather, its another to be stuck in a tent for days alone.  So I called the trip early and began my 2 day retreat back towards the lake on foot.

Update:  Checking the SNOTEL in the area.  Quinault got almost 4" of rain during the time period of this trip.

Enchanted Valley Chalet
Mid-March at the Enchanted Valley Chalet, as the East Fork Quinault River creeps closer.

Olympic Mountains to Sea - PNT - (finale) Walking through the Seasons

Start at the beginning of the Trail Series?

Well it is late autumn and most the leaves have fallen to the ground in the Olympics. The elk are done bugling, marmots have retreated into their burrows and most visiting backpackers are back to the 'everyday grid'. All that is left is breathtaking landscapes with the occasional song of a bird. Fresh snow has fallen a few weeks ago and melted away everywhere the sun touches during the short days. The clock ticks before the deep white stuff falls, sealing the high country in for the season.

Just hours after the powers that be reopened our National Parks, I rode my bicycle down to WIC and got a Backcountry Permit. The plan was to spend a few days exploring a small piece of the Bailey Range and then walk west using the Pacific Northwest Trail to the Coast. I originally started my summer journey back in June by taking the bus to Neah Bay, then walking south on the North Olympic Coast, before heading inland into the Hoh Rainforest on my way up Mount Olympus. I thought it would be fitting to walk from the mountains, back to to the sea and have this be the grand end to the trail series. Ending in the small coastal town of La Push and catching a bus to Forks and then Port Angeles. There would be no friends or family at my finish line. Nor a grand support team to whisk me off with a congratulation metal. Just the feeling of personal accomplishment having walked a custom route I put together in my head last winter.

Mount Olympus
Autumn in Olympic.