Older Entries

02/16/17 - Marymere Falls in February

It has been a wintry month, and we haven't been getting out as much as we'd like. If nothing else, the Spruce Railroad Trail and all of the Elwha Valley trails are closed for construction and the high country is covered with snow. We did get out to Marymere Falls. It was a short walk from the parking lot, less than an hour round trip, but it was a nice taste of northwestern forest for the season.

The falls

The misty mountain trail

Looking down at Barnes Creek

The trail with a new handrail (on the right)

Barnes Creek again

The side stream from the falls

Another view of Barnes Creek

Keywords: elwha, high country, marymere falls, spruce railroad, trails


01/22/17 - Marymere Falls and Barnes Creek

So many trails are closed this winter. Most of the Elwha River trails are closed while the flood damage is repaired, and the Spruce Railroad Trail is closed for the next step in its upgrade. The loop to Marymere Falls is one of the few trails still open, so we've been getting there fairly often. For a while, the trail was covered with snow. The Barnes Valley doesn't get a lot of sun this time of year, but the snows have melted, and the snow melt and recent rains have fed the river and the falls.

Marymere Falls, a healthy roar

The steps from the lower to the upper falls observation points, in National Park Modern

They've been rebuilding the bannisters along the trail

A view of Barnes Creek

The footbridge over Barnes Creek

Another view of Barnes Creek

The forest

Another view

and yet another

Keywords: elwha, marymere falls, spruce railroad, trails, winter


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


05/24/16 - Marymere Falls Loop Reopened

The Marymere Falls trail loop has reopened. It was possible to reach the overlooks with views of the falls, but the lower part of the loop was damaged last fall. It has since been repaired with a long section of new handrail. With so many roads and trails still recovering from winter damage, it’s good to see a part of this popular trail reopened.

Marymere Falls

New handrails

Barnes Creek where the waters of the falls join it

Keywords: marymere falls, trails


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


03/23/15 - A Sunny Day at Barnes Creek

One of the great things about visiting Marymere Falls on a sunny day is the way that brilliant sunlight filters to the forest floor making it look like an exotic jeweled jungle. We almost expect to see an allosaurus or triceratops dashing through the ferns and foliage. The falls are pretty too.

Right out of a museum diorama

A view down

Barnes Creek with sun on the water

A side stream from the falls

Yes, heartwood really is that lurid purple color.

More jungle

An obligatory picture of the falls

Keywords: marymere falls


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


   Older Entries