Sunny Summer Hike

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
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Trip End Mar 06, 2013


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What I did
Olympic National Park, Elwah River

Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, August 5, 2012

So I am blogging about some of my summer time adventures so that way when I travel down to Chile I will be more comfortable with the format of the website.

One of the biggest reasons I decided Chile to be my destination this fall is because of the incredible outdoor activities the country has to offer. Hiking is one of my family's absolute favorite things to do on the weekend, and luckily for us, we live a (relatively) close distance to some wonderful hiking trails. And today, we were planning on heading out to the Grand Valley trail near hurricane ridge in the Olympic National Park. We departed from the homeland at 7am, then took a two hour drive to the town of Port Angeles, which acts as the gateway to the park. We were making wonderful time when we hit a rather disappointing speed bump. Right as we turned into the park, there was a large sign stating the the road we needed to connect onto to get to the trailhead, was closed for a bike ride of some sorts. This was quite disappointing as I had been wanting to go on this particular hike for a few months. However, my parents were quick to consult the guide book and found an acceptable replacement. 

So after the setback, we headed further westward to the Elwha River loop. This particular river had been on the local news over the past year due to the fact that the dam, that was negatively altering the annual run of salmon, was taken down, thus drastically opening up the river system to more anadromous fish. As we drove deeper into the mountains, along the river, we noticed the water was quite murky and stained a clay-coloured grey. There was even a sneak peak of the dam deconstruction site. Once we pasted the old location of the Elwha dam, the river took on a new life, as the waters became more turbulent and an icy blue. We were almost at the trailhead when we spotted an adorable little bird called a ruffled grouse. It didn't seemed to have much fear of us and although I would have loved to observe the grouse for a bit longer, but another car popped up behind our vehicle and we were forced onward. 

Once we arrived at the trailhead we wasted little time getting on the hike. The trail was very nicely maintained, and started off with beautiful views of the Olympic peaks. After about a half hour we took a rest stop at a lookout point over the river. As we continued on, we took another pit stop next to the river where we had an absolutely beautiful, and close-up view of the roaring waters of the Elwha. And throughout the next portion of the hike we stayed next to the river with gorgeous views of the river and surrounding mountains. After another good hour of trekking, everyone seemed tired, hungry, and somewhat grumpy from the pounding sun, so it seemed like a perfect time for lunch.

We had stumbled upon a small little cabin where we camped out on the porch and nibbled on some cheese, cucumbers, and other munchies. It was a much needed pitstop. The temperature today was record breaking and scorched into the mid 90's, making the moderate hike, much more demanding. But once we left the cabin, we made a beeline for the parking lot. It was an absolutely beautiful hike, and a wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday in the Pacific Northwest.

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Comments

maggiemay148
maggiemay148 on

sounds like a great hike and gorgeous weekend

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