Sightseeing and Day-hiking the Elwha
Valley Area (11-21-2010)- 8 miles with 2900 ft elevation gain
This Album Background:
Elwah Valley area
is geographically located 5 miles Northwest of the Hurrican Ridge
in Northern part of the Olympic National Park. I wanted to hike with the Kitsap
Outdoors to the Hurricane Hill (5757 ft) but I thought that there would be too
much snow above 3000 ft and would not able to hike much. Also, since it was my
first visit in the Elwha Valley Area, I opted to do some sightseeing on my own
and hike the Elwha area in general. Gladly, Aaron joined me for this trip. It
was interesting to learn about the area. For so many years ago, the Klallam
people survived on fish caught in the Elwha river. Then, people's relationship
with the fish were permanently destroyed in 1913 when the Elwah Dam was built
which blocked fish runs five miles from the river mouth. Also, Glines Canyon
Dam was completed upstream in 1927. The sad thing was that a state law required
fish passage but both dams were built without the fish passage !!! However, the
federal government now owns both dams and removal are on the way in 2011 !
8 miles with 2900 ft gain. One mile short to the
Happy Lake (too much snow). Temp was 28F with
little snow then got heavier. Our original intent was to hike to the Olympic
Hot Springs (5 miles with 300 ft elevation gain) and Humes Ranch (6 miles loop
with 500 ft elev gain). Also, do some sightseeing in the valley such as the
dams and the campsites. Well, we ended up doing some sightseeing, hiking toward
the Happy Lake
believing that we would see the Hot
Springs, and hurriedly coming back down due to wind
and heavier snowflakes. We thought that the trail would take us to the Olympic
Hot Springs. Both of us did not carry any maps (other than a tourist map) since
our plan was so straight forward and probably were in a hurry after yesterday's
biking rides. It was the first time that both of us did not carry a map, and it
bit us. When we saw the Boulder
Lake at the trailhead, we
went for it that we would see the Hot Springs in 2.5 miles. Then, we realized
that there must be another trail getting to the Boulder Lake...
END OF STORY.
On the way to the Happy Lake
above 4000ft, there was more than one foot of snow. It was a bit helpful to
hike along the trail that was walked by four legged animal first. However, when
the animal's tracks were gone, it was too difficult, both feet were getting
wet, and it was time to turn around.
On the way home, HWY 101 near Port Angeles was getting some flurry of snow.
The road was becoming snowy but we were relived to get out of the area safely.
In overall, it was a good experience hiking on
the snow up to 1 feet. Luckily, I was able to pick some frozen White Matsutake