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06/10/17 - Barnes Creek and Marymere Falls

The Barnes Creek trail is a little gem starting on the south side of Lake Crescent. The forest is much wilder than one might expect for a place so accessible. We made a quick side trip to Marymere Falls which was running full spate. Then we headed up Barnes Creek a bit. Most people just do the loop to the falls, but the trail along the creek has its rewards. We had some good views of the creek, and we got to see our favorite little waterfall before heading back.

Wild forest

More wild forest

Marymere Falls

Another view of Marymere Falls

Pacific dogwood in bloom

Barnes Creek

Our favorite little waterfall

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, waterfall


12/18/16 - Barnes Creek - Ice and Snow

We've had a bit of snow lately, so we went for a walk in the woods. We took the Barnes Creek trail, but we didn't make it to Marymere Falls. The footbridge was just too icy for us. Still, it was worth the walk. The snow fall in the forest was beautiful.

The path through the woods

Barnes Creek

The footbridge - too icy for us

A river view

Snow in the woods

More snow

More woods (with snow)

An icy scene

Icicles

The forest floor

The icy river again

Keywords: barnes creek


10/20/16 - Barnes Point and Marymere Falls

The big wind storm seems to have spared Port Angeles and the immediate vicinity, but outside of the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains there was wind to spare. We checked out Marymere Falls and found plenty of windfall. Trees had fallen across the trail, but we made our way to the roaring falls. We had planned to head up Barnes Creek a bit, but the wind fall and brush were too much for us. Instead we went back the long way passing by the lodge. We followed the river down to the lake proper, then cut back inland.

Some fallen trees

Some more fallen trees

Autumn color

Barnes Creek

Marymere Falls

More color - This has been a great year.

The creek again

Emerald forest

More of the creek

Even more water

Down by the lake

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, port angeles. autumn


08/18/16 - Storm King

Hurricane Ridge Road is being repaired. We were planning to climb to Klahane Ridge, but the line at the park entry station ran back past the Lake Dawn turn off. It looked like a long wait, so we made a U-turn and headed out to Barnes Creek determined to climb something or another. What we wound up climbing was Storm King, the peak dominating the south side of Lake Crescent.

To be honest, we only made it up to the ledge where we had a great view of Pyramid Peak and points north. Serious climbers go up another 300 feet or so to the actual peak, but we were at our limit. This trail is always challenging. Unlike the Switchback Trail up to Klahane Ridge, the Storm King trail never lets up. It is steep and demanding all the way. There are no easy switchbacks. Worse, it has been dry this year, so the trail was sand and pebbles, terrible footing.

Next time, it’s Klahane Ridge, for sure.


A good omen - We saw this woodpecker on our way to the climb.

Trail on a slope

A view from the ledge

A look down at the road

More of the trail

Keywords: barnes creek, lake crescent, storm king


11/02/15 - Marymere Falls and Barnes Creek

With all the rain, we had to get out and see Marymere Falls. We were pleased to see the falls were in full rush and Barnes Creek running wild and rapid. We couldn't walk the full loop to the two falls overlooks. The lower approach has been damaged, so we went to the upper overlook first. There was a branch down there blocking a lot of the view, so we walked down the steps to the lower overlook and really enjoyed the view down there.

OUR ADVICE: If you do go to Marymere Falls and are disappointed by the blocked view at the upper overlook, head down the steps for a better look.

After visiting the falls we wandered up Barnes Creek a bit and enjoyed the water in full rush, surrounded by ferns and mossy trees. There was a bit of fog, so the hills above and more distant views were shrouded and hazy. It was a perfect northwestern forest experience.


Fog shrouded forest

The occluded view of the falls from the upper overlook

The view from the lower overlook

The damaged section of the approach to the lower overlook

Barnes Creek, white water

More Barnes Creek

The trail again

More mystery trees

Another view of Barnes Creek

Another mysterious tree

A recently fallen tree across the creek

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls


08/16/15 - In Search of Water

This has been a dry summer, and it shows. Rivers just aren't flowing the way they usually do at this time of year. They're about a month or so off, with the current August flow more like the usual flow in late September. The trails are dry, too, with crumbly dirt and lots of loose pebbles.

In search of water we went to Barnes Creek and were pleased to see that Lake Crescent still has a fair bit of water. We started climbing the Mount Storm King trail to get a better view of the lake, but we didn't get far. The trail was crumbling, and it is a steep trail. If we were slipping on the way up, coming down would be treacherous. We turned around and took a look at Marymere Falls. It was nice to see some flowing water.

At the pebble beach we could see just how low the flow was in Barnes Creek. The river was much narrower and the beach much larger than usual. Then we walked a bit up the Barnes Creek trail and got a few glimpses of the river. We got our water fix, at least for now, but we're hoping for some real rain.


Water in the waterfall

A bright sunny day

Looking up Barnes Creek from the bridge

The forest and bright sunlight

More forest trail

Keywords: barnes creek, lake crescent, marymere falls, storm king, summer, trails


07/08/15 - Marymere Falls, Still Flowing

We visited Marymere Falls on the south shore of Lake Crescent with some trepidation. The drought this year has been serious. We could tell there was a lot less water this year by the time we crossed Barnes Creek, but the falls were flowing, just not as much as usual. Small comfort, but this year, we'll take what we can get.

Marymere Falls

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls


04/16/15 - Barnes Creek

We've been getting out to the Marymere Falls a fair bit lately. This time we decided to head up Barnes Creek a bit and see how spring is progressing in the valley. The whole area is a riot of green with the trees, ferns, mosses and undergrowth all contributing to the wild forest scene. There were also trilliums in bloom, another sign of the season. If you do get out to the falls, consider following the creek a bit and checking out the spring scenery.

A trillium

A moss covered rock

The green scene

A little waterfall along the trail

That waterfall again

More green

Another trillium

Barnes Creek

Yet more trilliums

Another view of the creek

And another

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, spring, trillium


02/11/15 - Marymere Falls

We recently went out to Marymere Falls to stretch our legs and see how our winter rains have been affecting the falls and Barnes Creek. Well, there was lots of water, but there were also a lot of downed and damaged trees. Even before we could hear the creek, we started noticing the winter's toll on the forest.

One tree split vertically, with half remaining upright while the other half had fallen across the trail. The park service had cleared the trail, cutting out a section of the fallen tree. We stopped to take a closer look, because the inner wood of the fallen tree looked particularly smooth and fine grained. It was heartwood. It has a different look, a different feel and even a different sound when struck, as opposed to the younger wood in the outer layers of the tree. We could even see the color gradient as the outer layers were paler, almost yellow, but the inner layers were increasingly dark before turning into heartwood.

There was also lots of flowing water. Marymere Falls was in full spate. Click on the picture to check out the movie. Barnes Creek was roaring. This is a great time to check out Marymere Falls.


Marymere Falls - Click the picture for a video.

Barnes Creek

The rainforest

Tree damage

The park service at work

An old stump shattered

Rain drops - They add up.

Heartwood - Note the color gradient from the outside in.

The split tree

Barnes Creek

More tree damage

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, winter


01/17/15 - Marymere Falls

We were out at Barnes Creek and checked out Marymere Falls. Often in the winter the falls are surrounded by an array of ice crystals in spectacular patterns, but we've been having a warm winter, so all we saw were the falls. We took a slow motion video with our phone camera. Click on the picture of the falls to play it.

We took the usual Marymere Falls circuit, no climb up to Storm King for us today, but we did wander a bit up Barnes Creek proper and enjoyed the views of the creek and the walk through the forest. We went as far as a little waterfall right along the trail.


A bald eagle perching en route to Barnes Creek

Click the image for a slow motion view of Marymere Falls.

Sunny day

A little waterfall

Water below

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, winter, waterfall, eagle


05/12/14 - A Short Way Up Barnes Creek

When we head out to the Barnes Creek area on Lake Crescent, we usually just take the loop up to Marymere Falls. This time we were more energetic and went a ways up Barnes Creek proper. There was a lot of water in the creek, and we really got to appreciate just how much of a wonderful rain forest there is in the area.

We also got to see the new bridge over the creek. It's a bit more rustic than the bridge it replaces. It's just a big log with a single railing attached on one side of it, but it looks passable. We might even try it if our general clumsiness and associated fear of heights doesn't stop us. Oh, and did we mention trilliums?


Marymere Falls - We did stop for a look.

Trilliums

More trilliums

One of the side streams

The creek

Rain forest

Another little side stream

Another view of Barnes Creek, blue against the green of the forest

More of the creek

The new bridge

The new bridge has just one railing.

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, trillium


11/27/13 - More Signs of WInter

We were out at Barnes Creek to check out Marymere Falls. It was a cold day, and the sun was low. The falls weren't surrounded by frost the way they sometimes are in the winter, but there was frost on logs, on ferns and on the salal near the parking lot.

The unfrozen falls

Frost on logs

Frost on logs and the river bank

Frost on ferns

More frost on ferns

The frozen rain forest

Frost and the river

Frost near the parking lot

More frost

Frost on - well, we aren't sure

A dangerous stretch of route 101 - Here be black ice in winter.

Keywords: barnes creek, winter, marymere falls


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