Trail Running Lake Crescent

It would be a great day! Today we were going on a trail run in the Lake Crescent area. The trails in the areas stay relatively snow free year around, so its a go-to destination in the winter months in Olympic.

This adventure was done on New Years eve day. So, this would be our last chance for an adventure; until next year!
I woke up in my sailboat a few hours before sunrise to prepare for my day. I would be meeting some friends in town to carpool out to the lake.

Port Angeles waterfront
Last Sunrise of the year 2011 

There was 1 more day left in 2011 and I wanted to make the most of it.  So I suggested for a few active friends meet up and get 10ish mile casual trail run.  I want to be in the best shape of my life in 2012, so why not start training a day early for the New Year Season.

barnes creek trail

  The route would have us travel 9 miles round trip on the Barnes Creek Trail and then toward the trail intersection to climb Mount Storm King.  This trail is one of my favorites in the Olympic National Park for winter trail running.  After you pass the 3.5 mile mark it turns into single track and gives you the feel of running freely through the woods.  

barnes creek trail

barnes creek trail

barnes creek trail

  Around the 3 mile mark after a set of switchbacks, we rose into a dusting of snow that fell from the night before.  I love running in the woods when there is fresh snow on the ground in VFF's.  You can't get much more primal than that, because of the insulation.

barnes creek trail

  The Barnes Creek Primitive Trail has a series of creek fords that can be higher in the winter.  One of my favorites is where the creek drops off a several times with baby waterfall lake rapids.  There is also a lot of logs jammed up at the crossing.  I oped to ford the creek, while my partner took the high route.  (not advisable in the snow)

olympic trial running

barnes creek trail
Photo by Bruce B.

  Nothing like a good cool down of the feet after moving at a fast speed through the woods.  After getting back to the Storm King Trail intersection.  Threw down a quick snack and up we went.  I will admit that my legs got super heavy ascending those Switchbacks.  Having a cold for several days and switchbacks don't mix very well.  We got it done however.  Ended up making it up 2.5 miles and then the snow got two inches deep.  We opted to call it a day.

Gear Featured

Overview/Disclaimer:    After 14 mile day and 1,000's of feet ascent.  I felt really accomplished for the last day of the year.  It was more impressive that every one was in the Vibram Fivefingers in winter conditions.  Way to kick butt.  I suggest that you break your feet in to winter conditions by wearing VFF's year around and go bare as much as possible; even in snow.  That way you will be acclimated cold water and snow.

Updated April 2015