Saturday, November 3, 2012

Olympic National Park- Washington

About Olympic National Park:
From approximately 70 miles of wild Pacific coast and islands through densely forested lowlands to the glacier-crowned Olympic Mountains, the park protects several distinctively different and relatively pristine ecosystems. These places shelter a unique array of habitats and life forms resulting from thousands of years of geographic isolation. Olympic National Park is a place unmatched in the world. The park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. Olympic is a beautiful area that offers endless route opportunists for every level of hiker. The list below is the route we took, to see the pictures I took along the trail visit my photo gallery! Funny Story from this trip :)

Fun Facts About Olympic:
- 922,651 acres
- 73 miles of wilderness coast
- Over 3,00 miles of rivers and streams
- 60 named glaciers
- Over 1,200 native plant taxa
- 37 native fish species
- 300 bird species
- 56 mammal species
- 22 species listed as endangered
- 64 trailheads
- 661 miles of trail

Itinerary: August 1- 10, 2012
Day 1
Grand Valley
Grand Lake
Moose Lake- Camp
Day 2
Grand Pass 
After going over Grand Pass and dropping down the 2,000 feet into the valley I sprained my ankle in an animal hole hidden by growth on the side of the trail. We camped there for a day to let my ankle rest then spent the next 3 days hiking/ limping back out the way we came in. We then hitched a ride out of the park from a very nice couple from Canada.

Driving Directions: 
The trailhead we started at is located in the northern part of the park, for driving directions, maps, and day hike/ backpacking information from this trailhead click here.

What I Think You Should Know:
1. Weather-  At any time of year, visitors should come prepared for a variety of conditions. Rain gear and layered clothing are a must.

2. Mosquitoes- During warm weather mosquitoes along with black flies, deer flies, and horse flies can be a major nuisance. Wearing insect repellent, long sleeved shirts and long pants may help, but I strongly recommend at least a head net.

3. Bears-There have been several instances of aggressive bears in the Olympics. If you meet a bear on the trail, give it plenty of space. If a bear comes into camp, make noise to scare the bear away. When hiking in the Olympics always keep your food in a bear safe canister and never leave anything with food unattended.

4. Safety in Numbers- Over and over again I have been told "never hike alone", and yet every trail I have hiked on I pass countless solo hikers, I even hike alone at times! Bring a friend, they may just save your life.

5. Know how to GO in the woods- Yes, you will need to be able to poop in the woods. There are no bathroooms in the backcountry, so make sure you brought your trusty trowel and plenty of toilet paper! Learn more at Leave No Trace.

6. Mountain Goats- Hikers feeding mountain goats and allowing the animals to lick their swat-stained gear for salt  are the reason the park has to close popular trails. NEVER feed wildlife! Hiker killed by mountain goat.

Park Management: 
Olympic national Park Visitor Center
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Port Angeles, WA, 98362

Wilderness Information Center (Backcountry Permit Office)
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Port Angeles, WA, 98362
(360) 565-3100

Forks NPS/USFS Recreation Information Center
551 S. Forks Ave. (Highway 101)
Forks, WA, 98331
(360) 374-5877

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center
31 Miles south of Forks off Highway 101
(360) 374-6925

Olympic National Park Fire Management Office
(360) 565-3120



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