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04/24/14 - Whiskey Bend Trilliums and Mushrooms

Whiskey Bend Road has been open most of the winter, but we hadn't taken its narrow, twisting four and a half miles since the fall. Well, the road is as narrow and twisting as ever, but spring is upon is. The trail is as lovely as ever, but now the mushrooms and trilliums are out. We only got as far as the cabin, but we'll get in shape as the season progresses and head farther.

Micheal's Cabin

Mushrooms erupting

Little mushrooms

Sponge like mushrooms

The view

A trillium

Little orchids

Wild vegetation

More trilliums

Yellow violets

A little stream

Keywords: spring, trillium, elwha


04/22/14 - Lake AngelesTrilliums

It's definitely spring. The trilliums aren't as far advanced as at Lake Crescent, but they are coming out on the trail to Lake Angeles.

The trail - long time, no see

A trillium - It really is green here.

A trillium bud opening

Keywords: elwha, spring, trillium


04/18/14 - Trillium Season

It's spring. The trilliums are out at Lake Crescent and the Olympic golden salamanders are on the march. What more can we say?

A trillium

A salamander

Indian paintbrush

More trilliums

Another salamander

Keywords: lake crescent, salamander, spring, trillium


06/11/13 - Lake Angeles

We recently made it up the trail to Lake Angeles. That's a 2400' climb, and this may be our earliest ascent. A few weeks ago, there were still reports of snow and ice on the trail and around the lake. One hiker, who had turned around a bit shy of the lake, explained his decision saying that it was too early in the season for an injury. But, more recently, hikers we have spoken with were reporting a clear trail.

We started our climb with no particular hope of making it to the lake. In fact, we didn't even bother taking a water bottle, but at some point, we started to feel the pull of the lake. This often happens to us. Sometimes it will be a beam of sunlight cutting through to the forest floor. One time it was the start of a light snow. This time it was just the raw pull of the lake.

It was cloudy, so we couldn't see the walls of mountain surrounding the lake, but that made it all the more mysterious. We could see the little island and maybe some distant snow through the mist. It was a spectacular feeling, and all the trilliums in bloom only added to it. We may not make it back up to Lake Angeles for a while, but this climb made a great start to the season.


The island

Mists

You might be seeing a bit of distant snow.

Trilliums

Did we mention Pacific dogwood?

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium


05/19/13 - Trillium Change

We've been hiking the Lake Angeles Trail out of Heart of the Hills for over a decade now, and we have never seen so many trilliums in bloom. There were always a few, but each year there seem to be more and more of them. Even in places where we have never seen them before, such as along the drier stretch above the crossing bridge, there seem to be a lot of them. In places, like the Trillium Vale, where there were always a fair number, there seem to be more of them. Are they new colonizers? Has some condiiton changed? They like water. Could the area be, somehow, getting wetter?

The trail

Some trilliums from above the crossing

The stream in late spring flow

The Trillium Vale, or so we call it

A young trillium

More trilliums, some still emerging

Even more

The trilliums aren't the only things blooming. The Oregon grape is coming out as well.

More flowers

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium


04/28/13 - Spring Changes on the Elwha Trail

We were back on the Elwha Trail out of Whiskey Bend and couldn't help noticing a lot of changes. To start with, there were trilliums everywhere, or at least everywhere with enough water. (Trilliums like streams and drainage ditches.) There were also a lot of other flowers, but the real change was the light. The Northwest isn't noted for its sunny days, but when we have them the forest floor is transformed. The tree trunks are steely pillars and the undergrowth just glows.

The usual view of the Elwha Valley from the trail

Trilliums

More trilliums

Even more trilliums

The trail in sunlight

One of the orchids

More of the trail in sunlight

Another orchid

More of the trail

Violets and a strawberry flower

Sap running from a tree

Keywords: elwha, flowers, trillium, spring


04/26/13 - Lake Angeles Trail Update

We climbed the Lake Angeles trail for about an hour. That took us up about 1350' above the parking lot. We saw our first bit of snow, but it was at least another 1000' of climbing to Lake Angeles. We met a hiker coming down from the lake. She was a far hardier sort than we. She says there are still about three feet of snow at the campground, which means we won't be making it all the way up for some time.

We did see some amazing light. It was a sunny day, and a lot of sunlight made it through the canopy. We also saw a lot of running water at the wood bridge crossing, and as a special treat, our very first trillium on the trail not far from the entrance.


The trail in bright sunlight

A last bit of snow on the ground

A bit more snow

Snow on the low undergrowth

The trail again

As seen from the trail in bright sunlight

The stream

More undergrowth, mahonia

Even more

The trail, lusher as one descends

The first, and only as far as we could tell, trillium

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium, spring


04/24/13 - The Trilliums of Spring

It really is spring now. We were out on Lake Crescent looking for trilliums, and we found them. They are coming out in force. There are also a lot of other spring flowers.

Trilliums

Little orchids

More trilliums

Indian paintbrush

Skunk cabbage

Along the trail

The high / low on the trail

Keywords: trillium, spruce railroad, spring


04/20/13 - Elwha Trail Out of Whiskey Bend and Our First Trilliums

Whiskey Bend Road has been open most of the winter, but we were waiting for a clement, sunny day. Then we turned off the paved road and made our way to the trailhead and were pleasantly surprised. The trail was as green and lush as ever with streamlets and little waterfalls here and there. We headed down after Michael's Cabin, rather than up, but we didn't get all the way to Hume's Ranch. Instead, we turned at the waterfall.

It was on our way back that we were surprised. We saw the first trillium of the year growing by one of the little waterfalls. Somehow, we never seem to see trilliums on our way out on a hike. Maybe we are too intent on our destination. Maybe they all grow on the wrong side of the trail or pointing in wrong direction. But, on the way back, there they are.


One of the little waterfalls

Another view of the little waterfall

The forest (and my thumb)

The forest trail

Michael's Cabin

The view from the trail

More running water

Trilliums

Trilliums, right by the trail side

Keywords: elwha, trillium, waterfall


07/08/12 - Ascent to Lake Angeles

We made it! After long hard training, an arduous assault and a great deal of procrastination and whining, we made it all the way up to Lake Angeles, and it was beautiful. The trail is clear, though there is still snow on much of the bowl surrounding the lake. The lower trilliums are gone, but they are now all over the place up by the lake.

The lake is still much too cold for us to go swimming, or so we believe. We considered actually sticking our toes in, but chickened out. Maybe we'll try next time, or the next, but, for us Kalebergs, Lake Angeles is in season.


Snow on the mountains at Lake Angeles

Another view of the lake

Driftwood at the lake

The little island

A trillium

A nest, a vein, a conclave, a ??? of trilliums

The trail through the woods

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium, kale


06/23/12 - The Pacific Dogwood is in Bloom

We've been building up on the Lake Angeles Trail. That's a 2400' ascent from the Heart of the Hills to the lake itself that we're quite fond of. It's just quite a climb, and during the winter we get out of shape. We haven't gotten to the lake yet, but we have been following the seasonal changes. Right now, the Pacific dogwood are blooming. Unlike the eastern version, these are a ground cover, not a tree, but they have those distinctive flowers.

The trail

In bloom

More bloom

Even more bloom

There's lots of water in the stream.

At the end of trillium season, the flowers turn purple before forming seeds.

Another late season trillium


Keywords: flowers, lake angeles, trillium


05/19/12 - Whiskey Bend and Above the Elwha

We've gotten out to Whiskey Bend a few times lately in hopes of getting back to Lilian Camp. This time we made it to the overlook where we could see the snow covered mountains on the other side of the river. The spring flowers are coming out in force, so we'll be back again soon. Maybe we'll even get across the second crossing or down to the Lilian River. Who knows?

The mountains as seen from the overlook

A typical stretch of trail

An older trillium, turning pink

Tiarella

Mahonia, oregon grape, in flower

Wild strawberrys - We've never seen any fruit, but they are pretty flowers.

A fresher trillium

Keywords: flowers, spring, trillium, elwha


04/27/12 - Elwha Open Again

We are building up again after a long slow winter. The trail out of Whiskey Bend is open again, so we pushed ourselves past the cabin and up 400 feet to the first crossing. This is maybe halfway to Lilian Camp, our eventual goal, but one must crawl before one can walk, though in our case it feels as if we walk first, then crawl back.

There were a couple of trees down, but the trails are in great shape. Even better, the trilliums and other spring forest flowers are coming out. Next time, the second crossing, for sure.


Self portrait

Trilliums

The green way

The stream at the first crossing

Spring waterfall

The forest

Another trillium

Keywords: elwha, flowers, spring, trails, trillium, waterfall


04/18/12 - First Trilliums at Lake Crescent

This has been a cool, slow spring, but our most recent hike out at Lake Crescent gave us a few signs of spring. The trilliums are starting to open. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled.

One not quite open

One wide awake

Other blooms

Keywords: lake crescent, spring, trillium


07/27/11 - Lake Angeles, Hurrah!

It started inauspiciously, but by fits and starts and sheer force of will we made our way up to Lake Angeles. It was not an easy climb, and we didn't get any great view of the high cliffs around the lake. It was just too cloudy. Still, we did have the satisfaction of a good workout, and we got to see some of the restoration work at the campground. They had to haul the logs for this up from Heart O' the Hills by helicopter. (We had noticed a little helicopter landing on one of the Hurricane Ridge Road pull offs last year. Apparently, that was part of this.) The campground looks quite different, and there are hundreds of baby trees or perhaps bushes. It will look quite different in another five years. Maybe we'll still be able to make the climb then and see.

So much for the picture postcard view

Some of the myriad baby plants

The logs mean keep off the baby plants.

These logs lead down to the lake.

A really neat looking lupine

Some of the trilliums up by the lake

We've never seen trilliums up by the lake before. This has been a weird summer.

Keywords: lake angeles, summer, trillium


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