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06/22/19 - Little River Trail

We've been regulars on the Little River Trail. We've following spring into summer. The trail is more hidden as the deciduous trees have leafed out and the trilliums have vanished, replaced by Pacific dogwood.

The trail

Plant life

More plant life

The river

Another view of the river, hidden by green

A trillium gone to seed

A salmonberry

Pacific dogwood

Even more plant life

Another bit of trail

And yet another

Keywords: little river, spring, summer, trillium


06/04/19 - The Last Trilliums

We've been building up our climbing by working our way up the Lake Angeles Trail. So far, we've managed to get up about 1150 feet out of about 2380, less than halfway. The trilliums along this part of the trail are passing. They've turned from white to pink or they already have seed pods. Meanwhile, the Pacific dogwood is coming out, and its petals have been turning from green to white. Progress climbing has been slow, but the trail has its rewards however far we climb.

Across the little creek about 700' above the parking lot

One of the many trilliums now turning pink

A white trillium

This may be the trillium vale

Another trillium, for luck

Tiarella

Second growth forest and sunlight

Pacific dogwood

And another cluster

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium


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


05/19/19 - Again, to the Altair Bridge

We have been turning this into a regular walk, starting at Madison Falls and heading, by way of the detour, to the Altair Bridge over the Elwha. The columbines are gone and the trilliums and dogwood almost past, but the tiarella is now in bloom as are other late spring blossoms.

As usual, we stopped to soak our feet in the river. A bit later, we had to step to the side of the trail to let a mule team get by. The park service people and animals were heading out to do trail work. The mules were new to the area and a bit skittish. We did our best to keep them calm.

The river is still pretty high, so the park service might just be waiting for it to go down, but we're guessing that they won't be setting up the temporary bridges the way they did last year. Despite this, we'll be back in a week or two to follow the spring progression and we'll let you know the latest.


The Elwha as seen from the Altair Bridge

Another view of the Elwha

Yet another view

The river is so high that the river branch that cut the road has flooded. The gap may grow.

The forest detour

Tiarella

Elderberry flower buds

Another tiarella

Stinky bob on an old maple tree

A mushroom

The Elwha from the bank

An entire forest growing on a tree

A fading trillium

Paintbrush

More tiarella

More of the forest trail

Across the river, lupines in bloom

Keywords: elwha, spring, 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


04/25/19 - Lake Angeles Trail and Trilliums

We've been getting back into shape, and that means climbing the Lake Angeles Trail. It's a great training trail in that it heads up steeply for 2400', but even shorter climbs offer a wonderful forest hike. To our surprise, the first trilliums were in bloom, mainly along the lower reaches of the trail. We didn't make it much past the foot bridge over the stream about 720' above the trail head, but we heard reports from other hikers that the lake was accessible. That gives us something to work towards, though it may be a while.

One of the trilliums

Lingering snow

The foot bridge

More snow in the shadows

The trail

Dramatic lighting on the trail

Another look along the way

Second growth forest

Another trillium

Yet another

and yet another

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium


04/15/19 - Spring Flowers on the Elwha Detour

We finally followed the Elwha detour from where it leaves Olympic Hot Springs Road about a half mile past Madison Falls to where it rejoins the road past the old Elwha campground. It's a 250 foot or so climb, but it goes through forest, and the forest is full of columbines, trilliums and other spring flowers.

The detour trail heads up past a work area at the end of the service road and then heads higher to a junction with the Cascade Rock trail. There are glimpses of the Elwha along the way as it follows the ridge past the washout. After the junction the trail goes down a bit, then up a bit, then slowly descends behind the old campground. There is a sturdy tributary of the Elwha running between the trail and the collapsed campground pavilion.

The trail lets out a bit past the washout but before the ranger station and work area. It took us about 45 minutes from Madison Falls, so it would be another 15 or 20 minutes to the Altair bridge. We didn't make it that far, at least not this time.


A perfect place for columbines

Columbines

and more

and more

and even more



Other spring flowers

The trail ahead

One of the many trilliums

and a pair, overlapping,

and another

and yet more

Skunk cabbage, a sure sign of spring

The old campground pavilion across the new Elwha channel

More of the trail

We forget what this is called

Mysterious rock overhangs and mysterious caves

A glimpse of the high country

Keywords: elwha, flowers, spring, trillium


04/09/19 - First Trillium of the Season

It has been a long hard winter. The signs of spring have been late in coming, but yesterday, while walking down to the Dungeness Spit, we saw our first trillium of the year. It may be coming slowly, but spring is on its way.

Keywords: dungeness spit, spring, trillium


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


05/17/18 - Sol Duc Falls And Beyond

We braved the construction on Route 101 along Lake Crescent and were pleased to only be delayed perhaps twenty minutes on our way west. Our goal was the Sol Duc Falls trailhead where we made our way first to the falls, in full spring rush, and then onward and upwards to the bridge over Canyon Creek. We almost climbed 1000'. Deer Lake was another 600' or so, but we had climbed all we could.

There was no snow on the trail, though we did see patches of snow in the woods. We did see lots of trilliums and lots of running water in the Sol Duc River, in Canyon Creek and seeping from the rocks and pooling on the trail. It's a beautiful but tiring trail. We returned to the car happy but exhausted. We encountered another twenty minute delay on the way back, but we considered the extra time on the road well worth it.


Sol Duc Falls

A trillium

A curtain of drips

Some unmelted snow

Another trillium, artfully arranged

Canyon Creek

A double header

Canyon Creek again

A minor waterway

The forest

Even more trilliums

Keywords: lake crescent, sol duc, spring, trillium


05/07/18 - Even More Trilliums

This is the time of year we post pictures of trilliums. They are a sure sign of spring, and by this time of year, we are eager for a bit of spring.

A trillium

More trilliums

Yet another trillium

That's right. That's the High Line in New York City.

Definitely the city

Along the Hudson

Another Hudson view

Just a little fishing village, with trilliums

Typical New York City - health advice from a truck

Keywords: spring, trillium, new york city


04/28/18 - Trilliums on the Lake Angeles Trail

Between winter conditions and road repairs, we haven't been hiking the Lake Angeles Trail lately. We finally made our way back, and were pleasantly rewarded. The trail is as beautiful as ever, the trilliums were starting to bloom, and aside from some gravel stretches, the road wasn't much of a problem.

The little stream, one view

A trillium

Another trillium, just getting ready to bloom

Yet another trillium

Another view of the little stream

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium, spring


04/26/18 - Spring Comes to the West Elwha

We took a walk west of the Elwha River and saw definite signs of springs. There were trilliums in bloom and columbines in profusion. Spring is here.

One of the many trilliums

Water crossing the trail

More trilliums

Old forest, signs of moisture

Another trillium

A columbine

More columbines

The boardwalk

More flowers

The Elwha River coming ...

... and going

Keywords: elwha, spring, trillium


06/15/17 - Lake Angeles Trail

The Lake Angeles Trail is great for a workout. It's only a ten minute drive from town, so it's often our fallback for exercise when we don't have a lot of time. On our last trip we got to experience the season with trilliums both ready to open and already with pods having bloomed some time ago. The Pacific dogwood was like this too, with both slightly green early flowers as well as white ones in full bloom.

The bridge on the Lake Angeles Trail

White water

Water under the bridge

Early Pacific dogwood

Pacific dogwood in full bloom

An early trillium

A late season trillium

More water

And even more water

Keywords: flowers, lake angeles, trillium


05/07/17 - Sol Duc and Beyond - Part 1

Our latest trip to the Sol Duc Valley had some excitement. We spotted a young bear not too far from the trailhead. We had been driving along enjoying the scenery, deep green forest with occasional views of the Sol Duc River. Then we saw the car ahead of us stopped in the middle of the road. That means one thing in a national park, a wildlife sighting. It was a young black bear, but we only had quick look at him or her. However, on our way back, we had a much longer and better look.

The falls themselves are full of water, but not quite as wild as we have ever seen them. It was quite possible to cross the bridge over the river at the falls dry shod. As the spring and summer melt progresses, the flow will increase, and the spray will get much wilder.

We headed up trail on the far side of the river, taking the trail to Deer Lake. The trail meanders for a ways with little streams and curtains of drips, then it follows Canyon Creek which flows down from the lake. We made it to the bridge, about 500 feet above the falls. By this point we had run into some patches of snow on and beside the trail. Looking upstream we could see more snow above, melting and feeding Canyon Creek.

That was our sign to turn around and head back. We'll get in shape for further climbing while the snow melts. So we'll be back.


The young black bear by the road

Forest

A stream

Sol Duc Falls

The Sol Duc River

Some snow

Snow covered hills

Canyon Creek

Canyon Creek with the snow above

The bridge over the creek

A trillium

Keywords: deer lake, sol duc, trillium


04/22/17 - Elwha River Trail - Part 1

With Olympic Hot Springs Road open again, we've been heading up to Whiskey Bend and revisiting the Elwha River Trail. We've already made it to the overlook before the second canyon on the way to Lilian Camp and down past Michael's Ranch for a look at the Elwha River. The trails are still a bit muddy, but lots of people are about celebrating the area's reopening. We've been celebrating this year's crop of trilliums and are looking forward to a great hiking season.

A trillium

A view from the overlook

A tree down across the trail

Another trillium

Another bit of trail

One of the many streams

Yet another trillium

Those yellow violets

The trail is beautiful on a sunny day

Our first slug of the season

Mysterious alligator leaves

Keywords: elwha, spring, trails, trillium


04/21/17 - Elwha River Trail - Part 2

The last photo in Part 1 is of a mysterious alligator leaf, something we had never noticed before on this trail. On our second trip we solved the mystery. Those are columbine leaves. We have never seen columbines growing in this area before, so we were quite pleased. They've been added to the regional treasure trove along with the trilliums, orchids and yellow violets.

The Elwha River itself is well upstream of the dam, but each year we have seen more brush growing across the river bed. When we first started visiting, over a decade ago, there was some scrub, but now there are substantial bushes. Has the river changed? This part wasn't affected by the dam removal, so this is another mystery.


One of our favorite waterfalls

Another view

The trail

The river

Another view of the river

More of the trail

An orchid

Another orchid

A columbine - the mystery of the alligator leaves solved

Yet another columbine

Even more columbines

Keywords: elwha, trillium, waterfall


04/20/17 - Elwha River Trail - Part 3

The Elwha River Trail out of Whiskey Bend is in pretty good shape, but on our way down to Michael's Ranch we were warned not to linger for a stretch. There were overhead hazards, presumably falling branches. This was the stretch with one of our favorite waterfalls, so we did stop briefly to admire it, but not for long.

This stretch of trail is also being rebuilt a bit. We chatted briefly with two of the trail workers rebuilding a stretch of boardwalk. They were hard at it. Presumably, their work is done, and we'll be spared a bit of mud on our next hike that way.


Warning, warning

Thank you, trail maintainers!

Another view of the boardwalk work

Some forest

A bonus trillium

Keywords: elwha, trillium, waterfall


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