On the recommendation of a friend, I took a hike from Obstruction Point in Olympic National Park today. I slept in longer than I thought I would this morning so I got a later start than I wanted, but I got there. It was a beautiful day and it was a great hike. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to hike this beautiful park.
The mountains have always been a magic place for me and those that know me know that I have always loved the mountains. Moving up here I took a bit of a break from them and have been enjoying the water quite a bit. Getting back into the mountains was a bit of a “coming home” for me. The sights, sounds, and the smell of the trees took me right back to a place inside that is quite special and I had not been in some time. The day even started out driving up Hurricane Ridge Rd. to the top, then taking a left onto the 8-mile long gravel road leading to the parking area at Obstruction Point. Woo-hoo! Off-roading! Damn… I sure miss my Jeep “Big Red”. It’s just not quite the same in my Ford Explorer.
Being away from it for a while made it all new again. This park is really quite a place and the mountains are just as spectacular as Colorado, but not as tall. The thing to remember is the vertical height. A 14,000 foot high mountain is tall no doubt, but when you start at 8,000 feet that gives you 6,000 feet of vertical. Here they start pretty much at sea level and Mt. Olympus is 7,980 feet tall. That is a pretty righteous vertical there.
Anyhoo I hiked a six mile loop, and it was quite a hike. It was a challenging trail in spots with loose rock and steep drop-offs, and the second leg from the Deer Park Trail down to Beaver Valley was pretty much straight down the side of a mountain. I DO mean “straight down”. I have never hiked a trail that steep, and it was a long way to get down to the valley. The pictures of the trail show what I hiked.
The wildflowers were incredible. There was a lot of color and some plants similar to what I have seen in CO, while others I have not. I saw some streams, and at one I stopped and heated up some lunch on my backpack stove. There were waterfalls, high mountain lakes, snow, goat tracks and bear poop on the trail… all of the things that make nature, well, nature.
I think I will let the pics speak for themselves. Click on them to see larger pictures. (Again, all things on this website are copyrighted and owned by me so please respect that.)