05/28/19 - Little River Trail

The last time we wandered along the Little River Trail, the trail was lined with trilliums. They were all over the place. This time, the trilliums were passing, but the false Solomon's seal, tiarella, Pacific dog wood and others were taking up the slack.

We pushed past our last stopping point and made our way to a log bridge over the river. We crossed and continued for perhaps a few hundred feet. There was another log bridge heading back over the river. We aren't sure what this is about. There also seems to be a trail that doesn't cross the river twice, so one day we'll try it.


The trail through the forest

The Little RIver

Trilliums senescent

Mahonia

A last white trillium

One of the log bridges

False Solomon's seal with a wonderful scent

The Little River again

Where we stopped to refresh our feet

Devil's claw

Another very green bit of the trail

An older trillium and others

Pacific dogwood

A fern wall

Woodruff - It probably escaped from someone's garden, but it smells good.

Tiarella

More Pacific dogwood

Indian pipes

A bit more of the trail

Keywords: little river, trillium


04/27/19 - Little River Trail and Trilliums

We headed up Black Diamond Road recently and took the Little River Trail for a ways. It's a wonderful forest trail, and right now it is at peak trillium. They are everywhere along the trail, brightening the rich greens and dark browns of the forest.

The trail starts with a descent to a bridge over the river, but for a fair way it is just gentle up and down and pretty easy going. There are ferns and salal and, here and there, some rather large trees. The trail follows the river, and eventually runs along it. We even stopped to soak our feet for a bit. The water was icy.

The real treat was peak trillium. The forest floor seemed to be lined with them, and they were all in full white bloom. Some were alone, and some were in clusters. We'd walk along and remark that we hadn't seen a trillium in a bit, and, as if in response to our concern, there would be another series of them.

This isn't a heavily used trail, but it is a pretty one, and it's in great shape for hiking. And, if we haven't already mentioned it a few times, there are lots of trilliums.


A stretch of the trail

A trillium

Another stretch of the trail

A trillium cluster

Yet another trillium

The Little River

Another cluster of trilliums

More of the trail

We soaked our feet at that little massage waterfall

A trillium almost in bloom

A close cluster - Maybe we need to invent a term for these.

Mushrooms

The trail again

The river again

More mushrooms

The trail is easy going.

Did we mention trillium clusters?

Twisted trees by the trail

The trail through the forest

Keywords: trillium, little river


06/26/18 - Little River Trail

With so many roads in the park blocked by road work, we've been checking out some new trails. This time it was the Little River Trail. It starts near where Black Diamond Road meets Little River Road. As usual in 2018, Black Diamond Road was being repaved, but the delays were short. We only hiked out for an hour, but it was nice walking on a soft surface and being in the forest again. The first part of the trail was second growth, but there were more old trees and more first growth as we made our way up the trail.

The trilliums were past bloom, but the Pacific dogwood was out. The trail heads all the way up to Hurricane Ridge, but we stopped well before the serious climbing began. We turned around at the second crossing, so we have a lot left to explore. It's nice to have a new trail, and one that isn't a challenge to get to.


A typical stretch of trail

The trail follows the water

Epiphytes

More river

Pacific dogwood

A little more river

The bridge where we turned back

Some cascades

Another look at the river

A more Little River

A rather large trillium, past bloom

Keywords: trails, trillium, little river


11/22/09 - Wild Waters on the Spruce Railroad Trail

Lake Crescent is as high as we've ever seen it. Despite this, we decided to take the Spruce Railroad Trail out a bit and see how far we could get. It wasn't too bad at first. There was a lot of mud and standing water on the slope up to the first tunnel, but otherwise it was easy going to the Punchbowl. The little bridge was a little flooded, but it was just a giant step over the waters separating the trail from the bridge. On the far side of the bridge, however, the entire trail was flooded for a ways. There were actually breakers there. With a bit of timing, we managed to follow the rocky ledge and leap back onto the trail at the far end.

The trail was dry for a bit, though there were a few trees down. Still, there was nothing we couldn't crawl under, clamber over or slink around, but then we got to the little creek. Usually, we can just step over the little creek, but today was different. To start with, there was a little river running down the trail as a warning. We skirted this and made our way to the creek. It was a torrent with quite a waterfall. It was also fast, deep and wide, filling its channel and overflowing a bit. We puttered around deciding if it was worth fording, for there was no way to leap it, and no visible rocks mid-stream. In the end, we decided that we had had enough water for the day. It was time to turn back.

We'll be keeping our eyes on the Spruce Railroad Trail. The high waters can't last forever, and aside from some muds, logs and high water, it is still quite hikable.


A piece of the trail underwater - That's the bridge down around the corner.

More flooded trail - We hugged the rocks and timed the waves.

The "little" creek

The little creek has overflowed a bit.

A lovely waterfall

Someone put this mushroom up here in a niche in the rocks.

A fish caught high and dry

The bridge - That gap is leapable, even by us.

One of several fallen trees

Keywords: lake crescent, spruce railroad, trails, waterfall, little river


07/31/09 - Rialto Beach

Second Beach is probably our favorite beach on the West End, but now and then we like to get down to Rialto Beach for a bit of variety. It's an easier hike. There's no climb through the coastal forest and no clambering over driftwood. You just park, and you are on the beach.

This time the beach was shrouded with Pacific fog, as it often is in the summer. The seastacks were invisible until we were nearly upon them. There was a lot of driftwood, but it was generally piled up high on the beach, even with a high low tide. In another sign of summer, the little river about a mile from the parking lot ran under the sand to the sea. Most of the year we have to ford the stream, but this time we walked right over it without even noticing.

We made it as far as the first headland climb, up into the rain forest. It was almost like climbing a ladder made of tree roots. At the top, we could look through the foliage and see the rocky outcrop that jutted out to the sea like a lost Mayan temple in some adventure romance. We turned around there. We like our adventures, but we like them bite sized.


The view north

Lots of driftwood this year

Our favorite seastacks

The Mayan temple

The trail to the lost temple

Tide pools

The view south

Keywords: beaches, rialto beach, summer, little river



Tide pools and seastacks

05/15/08 - Signs Of Spring At Second Beach

There have been some fairly good tides at Second Beach recently, so we made a point to get out there. Second Beach is reached by a 3/4 mile trail through the coastal rain forest, and as we started down the "staircase" we could see that the tides were low.

We clambered over this year's greatly increased pile of driftwood and made our way south to the "treasure cave" and climbed around some of the tidepools. There were a good number of anemones lurking where they could, and a few starfish waiting out the low tide.

The beach itself was broad and flat with the big breakers well out from the shore. The little river towards the south end of the beach had a good flow, so we had to cross it up near the bluffs. For us, it was a challenge, but most people can gambol from small stone to small stone with greater skill and less drama than we.


A starfish, one of many

Sea anemones

These are little sea anemones

O'er the ramparts we clambered ...

Keywords: second beach, tides, little river



05/01/08 - Rialto Beach

We were out at Rialto Beach the other day, and it shows signs of winter. The sand is dark and gritty, and the tide pools relatively bare. You can see the rough current in the little river about a mile north of the parking lot.




Keywords: rialto beach, winter, little river



The bridge is crossable; the trail a bit less so

11/20/07 - A Visit to the Lake Angeles Trail

The Lake Angeles Trail is open, but there are lots of logs down thanks to last week's wind storm. The park service has cut some of the logs near the start of the trail, but clearing the trail is still low priority with so many roads out. Still, we managed to get up to the little river crossing about 700 feet above the parking lot, or around 2600 feet above sea level. We considered going farther, but as you can see in the picture to the left, there was a big log down right before the bridge. (That log is about three feet in diameter). That probably wouldn't have stopped us. There was a good crawl space under the log, but the bridge was covered with snow, and we didn't have our Yak Trax.

That whole section of the forest was blown down

Just for pretty - snow on a log
There wasn't any snow at the trailhead, but about 300 feet up we saw our first signs of winter, a light frosting alongside the trail. The trail itself was largely clear, but there was more snow as we ascended. Now and then we could see a thin layer of snow had settled on the canopy of the forest, which is partly why there was so little snow on the ground. There were a few downed trees blocking the trail, but most could be stepped over or walked around. There was one spectacular root mass that had pulled out when a tree right next to the trail had fallen downslope. All told, signs of wind and signs of winter.

This tree toppled recently and took some of the trail with it

Keywords: lake angeles, winter, trails, little river