Pacific Northwest Trail Adventures in Winter

  Having an ever growing network of outdoor friends has its benefits.  Even more so when you live in Port Angeles; which is close to the Olympic National Park.  Feel very blessed each time I walk off the farm and 10 minutes later inside the Park boundary.  This is the primary reason of even living here.

  Received 2 separate messages on Facebook earlier in the week.  They asked if I wanted to get out for a day hike in the snow and do an overnight on the Olympic Coast.   I of coarse replied yes to both.

  The Pacific Northwest Trail is a route that starts in Glacier National Park and end in Cape Alava, Olympic National Park.  This just happens to run almost right through literally my backyard.   Looking out the farmhouse window;  I can see the PNT.  Not a bad way to have your coffee in the morning.  I also get views of the summit of Mount Angeles and Unicorn Peak while doing the dishes.  Very spoiled.

Hurricane Hill
Group walking on the PNT covered with a few feet of snow  

  First part of the weekend would lead us up to Hurricane Hill.  This was the same route I did 2 weeks ago, but the conditions and company were different.

  It was another blue bird day in a t-shirt on the snow.  Convinced the group to ditch the snowshoes; felt they were not needed because of snow quality.  Very busy at Hurricane Ridge.  People looked at me like I was a 'nut job' for walking all afternoon with very minimal footwear in winter.  Guess that can be expected.

Hurricane Hill
The team moving up the ridgeline - views of the Bailey Range  

  Had a lovely afternoon on the snow.  Had a huge late lunch back in Port Angeles.  Started packing soon as I arrived back on the farm for the next days overnight trip to the Olympic Coast.  This destination is the end of the PNT.

  Would meet another friend and head out for a beach sleep.  We would pitch camp next to Cape Alava and explore south on the coast on the hunt for petroglyphs left by the Ozette Natives.

Cape Alava
Headed north to Cape Alava to find camp

Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter
Home sweet home  Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter

Ozette loop
Headed south to explore the Olympic Coast - photo by Dayna

Sea stacks crash
Sea stack crash - photo by Dayna

North Olympic Coast
Calm before the rain storm - photo by Dayna

Olympic coast seabirds
Variety of sea birds -  photo by Dayna

Luna Sandals coast
Footwear of choice - Luna Sandals Leadville Pacer 

tidepool sandals
Balancing act - exploring tidepools - photo by Dayna

dead whale washington coast
Dead Whale

dead seal washington coast
Coastal wasteland - photo by Dayna

Ultralight backpacking coast
Storm moving in - Tyvek Rain Gear to the rescue - photo by Dayna

point of arches in fog
Looking north to the Point of Arches and Shi Shi Beach - photo by Dayna 

wet coast fire
Working on a wet fire to cook dinner - photo by Dayna

hot beach fire winter
The only sunset in an evening of rain.  Dinner ready to cook.

  Rained on the tarp most of the night.  Woke up to the sounds of high tide crashing just 8 feet from where I slept.  Yet staying cozy and dry all night.  Glad I put the shelter in storm mode before bed.

  Felt wonderful to wake up in the wilderness and walk with a backpack on once again.  This was my first overnight of 2013.  Looking forward to more coastal adventures this winter and many more nights out in the Park this year.

Special Thanks:  Bryant Family for inviting me on their adventure.  Dayna for inviting me along and sharing her lovely photos to this site.  

I was happy to have practiced putting together my ultralight tarp, before coming out to the coast in winter conditions. It would have been miserable to have had struggled, being how much it rained on us during this trip.

Updated June 2015