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10/23/19 - Hurricane Ridge - Early Snow

There has been snow up at Hurricane Ridge for a while, but the road is still usually open. The Switchback Trail to Klahane Ridge is closed while they repair the road which is down to one lane there. The Hurricane Hill Trail is closed, because the twisty little road to Hurricane Hill is covered with snow and ice. The ridge, however, is reachable and navigable, though we recommend good boots for the snow and some icy patches.

The views are spectacular with the Olympic Mountains covered with fresh snow. It isn't very deep, so the richly colored late autumn grasses still cover areas. Call the park, 360 565 3131, before you go to make sure that the road is actually open since they'll close it for snow falls, white outs and heavy fog. Still, if you can make it up there, the ridge is beautiful.


Autumn grasses

Snow and trees and mountains

Scenery

Further away

A bit more snow

The forest

The Olympic Mountains

Klahane Ridge

More of everything

The Olympic Mountains again

More autumn color

More mountains

More snow

Hurricane Hill Road

Mountain light

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, klahane ridge


09/13/19 - Klahane Ridge - A New Season

It's already autumn up on Klahane Ridge. We drove into to the clouds after a fresh rain. The trail closes next week so they can rebuild the road, so we went on the first relatively dry day. The trail was wet. There were sparkling drops of water glistening on the lupine leaves. The clouds curled about the ridge. Visibility varied and the sun brightened and dimmed setting off the colors of the late summer, early fall foliage. There were no views of the distant Olympics. Not even Sunrise Point was visible. Still, the views were spectacular in their own way.

A misty scene

Less mist, more green

Rock plants

Late phlox

Clouds rising from the north meet the ridge.

The view north, no mountains in sight

Mist playing with the mountains

Pink yarrow, a mutant

Late summer foliage

Another bit of trail

Mist hiding the stone fingers

Another green carpet

More mist, more green

Berries of some sort

Drops of water on lupine leaves

Magic carpet beside the trail

More fog and cloud

Deeper in the cloud

The cloud thickens; reason one not to store your data in the cloud.

Keywords: autumn, klahane ridge


09/12/19 - Klahane Ridge - More of the Season

It was a spectacular hike. The clouds kept changing, now growing thicker and darkening the landscape, now thinner letting in light.

Late flowers

More green and fog

Ox parsnip by the trail

A last lupine



Clouds above

Clouds beside

Clouds thickening

A passage

Late summer grasses

The texture of the garden

Bright green and mist

More bright green, more mist

Paintbrush

Another passage

Lower and thicker

Fog in the umbrella forest

Carnivorous plants on stone

Keywords: klahane ridge, autumn


08/22/19 - Klahane Ridge - High Summer

Once again we put on our hiking boots, grabbed our hiking sticks and hauled ourselves up to Klahane Ridge by way of the Switchback Trail. We didn't set any speed records, but we made it. The climb was sunny with a blue sky, but by the time we made it to the ridge, clouds were rising from the sea and shrouding peaks and valleys. We rested a bit and watched the clouds rise with the warmth of the day. By the time we made it back to the parking lot, the sky was mostly blue again.

It was a late summer hike. The lupines and larkspur were long gone. Vegetation was thick, but only a handful of flowers remained, mainly in microclimates. Many plants had gone to seed, but the yarrow was near its peak.


Clouds and Mount Olympus

Brilliant sun

Another bright scene

Two butterflies

Those two again

A last bit of phlox

More clouds at the ridge

Clouds seeping in from the north

A view of the Olympic Mountains

Asters

Another spectacular view

Larkspur and paintbrush

Late summer blooms

A view from on the way down

A bit of the trail now that the sun had returned

Paintbrush

A hawk we had seen soaring earlier

A last few lupines

More paintbrush

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, summer


07/03/19 - Klahane Ridge, Hurrah

To our amazement, we made it up Klahane RIdge on our first try this season. We needed to stop and rest a fair bit, but that just meant more time to enjoy the amazing view while catching one's breath. It was a perfect sunny day for a good long climb.

That's how steep it is.

The view from the ridge

More of that view

Still some snow on the north face

A bit of trail

The park service has been doing repairs.

Lush green by the trail

A pocket view

The umbrella forest not far from the trailhead

Keywords: klahane ridge


07/02/19 - Klahane Ridge and More

Here are some more photos from our first climb up Klahane Ridge in 2019. The good news is that the alpine flowers are in bloom. The bad news is that there were goats still around. We met a ranger armed with a paint gun who went after them. Then, she had to race off to get to a meeting at headquarters on time. Being a ranger is a job. We walked down from the ridge in a more leisurely manner and took our time admiring the flowers.

The bowl to the north and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca

The goats heading towards the ridge

The goats scampering away after a warning paintball shot

Pasque flowers

Wall flowers

A green collage

Lingering phlox

Larkspur and wall flowers

Larkspur and paintbrush

Some lupines

An assemblage

A close up

Bog orchids by the stream near the trailhead

The little waterfall near the trailhead

A close up of some carnivorous plants

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge


07/26/18 - Klahane Ridge Again

We climbed Klahane Ridge again, once again rising early and getting to the trailhead while the shadows were still long and the day still cool. We made it to the ridge, and then headed on to the kick-in-the-ass. That's what one energetic hiker called the section of the trail down to Lake Angeles that actually takes one high along the ridge into a series of alpine gardens with fantastic views north and south.

On our way back, someone mentioned seeing mountain goats. We had missed them. As we neared the ridge junction, there was a patch of snow in the bowl to the north. There they were, an entire herd of goats. We had noticed the patch of snow and what appeared to be rough patches where the snow had piled up. Those were the goats! This time we paid attention, and there they were.


Early morning shadows

Early morning view

More morning light

A section of trail

Cow parsnip and larkspur (or perhaps lupines)

The goats in the distance

A closeup for the goats

Wandering goats

Morning light and shadow

Another fine view

One of the alpine garden "rooms"

More alpine gardens

Still some melting snow

Another garden scene

Yet another

And another - This is one of our favorite parts of the hike when we have the strength to get there.

Still shadows on our way down

Descending trail

Another view of the trail

Keywords: klahane ridge, mountain goats


07/08/18 - Klahane Ridge - Flowers

It's still early in the season on Klahane Ridge. The lupines are back. The phlox is passing. Here are some pictures.

Western wallflower

Lupines

Not sure, but it's pretty neat

This is likely a chipping sparrow.

Paintbrush

Toad lily or chocolate lily, take your pick.

Bloodwort

Shooting stars

Bog orchid and friends

Just a bog orchid

Cow parsnip, ox parsley?

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge


07/07/18 - Klahane Ridge

We made it up to Klahane Ridge via the Switchback Trail. As usual, it was hard work and breathtakingly beautiful. The hillside snow has melted, and the flowers are coming into bloom. It was an amazing hike with amazing views. Despite the road work, we've been getting up to the high country.

At 1000 feet above the trailhead the mountains are level with Sunrise Point.

A view from the ridge

Snow on the north face, not where we hiked

Clouds pouring into the bowl below

More clouds

Rocky outcrops

Lush green along the trail

Another dramatic view

Another piece of the trail

The stream below, quite full

A view up to the ridge

Keywords: high country, klahane ridge


07/20/17 - Klahane Ridge Again

Our three favorite high country trails are the Hurricane Hill Trail, the Lilian Ridge Trail out of Obstruction Point and the Klahane Ridge Trail via the Switchback Trail. This season, the last of those of three keeps calling us back. We've been watching the flowers, with more and more lupines appearing as the phlox starts to fade. We've been watching the mountain goats, carefully, as there seem to be a lot of them. There were over a dozen on our descent. We didn't stop for photos. We wanted to keep an eye on them and be ready to react.

We made it up past the ridge overlook and followed the trail leading to Lake Angeles. The "rooms", areas carpeted with alpine flowers and divided by crags, were a trip back to early in the season. Only a few flowers had blossomed, though we expect more when we answer the call of Klahane Ridge again.


A view from the ascent

As we approached the ridge

A mountain goat and her kid

Another view of them

A view of the Olympic Mountains

One of the alpine "rooms"

The end of our hike, lingering snow

Phlox, probably at its peak - It's a pity there isn't HTML to capture the scent.

Lupines, a great year

Blood wort

Bog orchid

Keywords: flowers, high country, klahane ridge, mountain goats, trails


07/05/17 - Goat Patrol - Klahane Ridge Edition

After two failed attempts, we made it up to Klahane Ridge, and even a bit beyond. Just about all of the snow has melted, and the wildflowers are out in force. The view from the ridge was spectacular. We continued on the trail a bit to check out the alpine gardens. There, the snow was still melting, and we turned around when walking in the snow became a problem.

On the way up to the ridge, we saw a mountain goat with a kid. We thought this was a great mountain goat sighting, but on our way there were at least a dozen mountain goats grazing on the trail. We made a bit of noise and they moved aside rather nonchalantly. None of them seemed particularly agitated which was good given that they have rather sharp looking antlers.


Mother and child

From the distance

High country

Flowers

Mountains with rocks in the foreground

More flowers

The view north with a Mount Baker visible - Click the image for a better view.

Mountain goats on our way down

The trail

More mountain goats

More mountains

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, mountain goats


06/25/17 - Klahane Ridge - Round Two

We tried climbing Klahane Ridge again. This time we got within a 150 foot climb to the ridge, but just couldn't face trudging through the mound of snow blocking the trail. We had made our way through a couple of snow barriers, but this last one was enough for us.

We will be back.


This time we climbed higher.

The distant mountains

Mountains and ridges

Snow and mountains and ...

Our impasse

From high on the ridge

The trail

Keywords: klahane ridge


06/24/17 - Klahane Ridge - Round One

We didn't get very far up on our first attempt to climb Klahane Ridge via the Switchback Trail, but we did get some beautiful views. We also saw a group of mountain goats on the hillside to the west. We will be back.

Mountains, green, snow, clouds

Glacier lily

Green hillside

Mountain goats

Another view of the mountain goats

Paintbrush

Water

A butterfly - This has been a great year for them.

The hillside

Keywords: klahane ridge, mountain goats


08/29/16 - Klahane Ridge - Part 2

We spent some time on the ridge. The view to the north was obscured by clouds, but the view to the south was spectacular. We felt a few raindrops as we explored, and as we descended there was a brief drizzle that seemed to clear the air and dampen the trail. We’re hoping the rain, such as it was, dampens the Cox fire as well.

Another view

And yet another

More smoke and mountains

It is late in the flower season, but there were some stragglers.

Drama

Smoke

A chipmunk devouring yarrow

As we descended

Perhaps a bit less smoke

Larkspur

A few more stragglers

Keywords: klahane ridge


08/28/16 - Klahane Ridge - Part 1

It hasn’t been easy getting up to the Hurricane Ridge hikes recently. If nothing else, they have been repaving Hurricane Ridge Road. We started early on a cloudy Sunday and managed to avoid the construction, but at the ridge we could smell the smoke from the Cox, and we could see the smoke settled on the mountains. We decided to try climbing Klahane Ridge anyway figuring that we had an asthma inhaler with us, so if the air was too bad on the way up, we could control its effects and make our way back down.

As it turned out the air started getting a little better as we climbed out of the closed area near the Switchback trailhead. Still, we could see the smoke highlighting the mountain panorama. As we climbed we had a broader vista, but the smoke was a major feature that we could see and smell. We made it to the ridge and headed on to the “kick in the ass” as one hiker we met put it. This is the stretch of the trail to Lake Angeles that climbs and passes through some of the most beautiful alpine gardens.

There were mountain goats about, even a few on the trail. We shouted at them and waved our hiking sticks and that seemed to send them scurrying. We also saw a few marmots as we wandered.


Smoke towards Sunrise Peak

Smokey skies

The panorama

More mountains

More smoke

Mountain goats, a mother and a kid

Another mountain goat

One of the enchanting alpine gardens

A plump marmot

Yet another mountain goat

Mountains as seen from an alpine garden

Keywords: hurricane ridge, klahane ridge, marmots, mountain goats


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