January 2020February 2020 Current Home Page

02/10 - Little River Trail

The Little River Trail starts in DNR land near the junction of Black Diamond and Little River Roads. The trailhead is at about 1000' above sea level, so it is well below the snow line. That made for easy but muddy walking. We descended and crossed the Little River and passed through the DNR land with its second growth forest. Then, we entered the park and descended again to the river and old growth. We made it across the two wood bridges over the river to get around a landslide, but we didn't head much farther. It was cold, and we were getting muddy, wet and tired.

The river itself was in full flow with white water rushing along, over logs and rocks and around all obstacles. Meanwhile, the cliffs were dripping wet and covered with green. Every side stream and little waterfall feeding the river was running flat out. This is what temperate rain forest should be, at least during the rainy season.


The Little River

One of the little foot bridges

The trail

Climbing trail

Forest mist and light

A waterfall across the way

A waterfall closeup

More of the trail

A dripping rock wall

More drips

A bit of the river

Water over a log

More rushing water

The river in context

One of the longer foot bridges

A natural foot bridge for someone much less clumsy

More river and logs

Logs and river, a variation on the theme

More wild water

Keywords: little river, waterfall


02/05 - To The Altair Bridge and Beyond

We took advantage of a relatively sunny day to head up along the Elwha, starting at Madison Falls and past the Altair Bridge. The Elwha was the big attraction. With the recent rains, it was in full flood. We took the detour, climbing up past the water tank. As we approached the river, we could see it had overflowed its banks. Trees were standing in rushing water. A part of the trail was flooded, so we took the little wooden foot bridge for a dry passage.

As we approached the road again, we could see water rushing by. The side channel that destroyed the old Elwha campground was borrowing a bit of the road. The detour took us out dry shod, and we continued along the road towards the bridge. There were signs of wind damage with twigs and branches on the ground, all the little streams were full of racing water, and here and there, in shady places, there were patches of snow and ice.

We crossed the bridge and walked a few minutes farther along the road, past the gate, for a view of our favorite little waterfall across the river. It was easy to spot even with the trees along the road blocking it. We headed back with our eyes open and were rewarded with the first skunk cabbage shoots of the year. It was not a particularly spring-like walk. It was a winter walk, but we could tell spring would be coming sooner or later.


A fallen branch

Olympic Hot Springs Road

A view of the Elwha

The little waterfall

A close up of the waterfall

The Elwha seen from the bridge

The view downstream

Another downstream view with snowy mountains

Snowy mountain closeup

Snow and frost - still winter

The mossy forest

Skunk cabbage

The flooded road near the old campground

The little foot bridge

An old log

Flooded river

Trees standing in running water

Water over a tree trunk

Another view of the flooded river

Keywords: elwha, waterfall, winter


02/02 - Winter Tides at Dungeness Spit

In January, we had take a walk at the Dungeness Spit with the tide nominally at five feet. We usually recommend hiking the beaches of the North Olympic Peninsula when the tide is down around three feet or so, but it was a mild day, and we found lots of sand on the beach and easy going. Not so on our most recent five foot tide visit. The tide tables told us the same tide height, but the tides begged too differ. Recent rains, storm winds and evil gremlins gave us a lot more wild sea and a lot less walkable sand.

There will be some better tides later in February. We'll aim for three foot tides and report back.


A local salamander to brighten our day

Not much to walk on

That's the 1/2 mile stake.

Another view of the spit and rollers

The wintry sea

Keywords: beaches, dungeness spit, tides


January 2020February 2020 Current Home Page