May 2017June 2017 July 2017

06/27 - Hurricane Hill and a Sunbow

Taking a break from Klahane Ridge, we went back to Hurricane Hill. The snow on the trail is almost gone, so it was easy going. We even went down the side spur that leads to the Elwha Ranger Station a bit. We saw a blue grouse and several marmots, but the real treat was a sunbow on our way back to the parking lot.

On our way back, admiring the views of the main mountain chain to the south, we noticed that one of the high cirrus clouds was not quite pure white. It was colored and colored like the rainbow. There was another cirrus cloud not far, and it too was also colored, but more faintly. It took a bit of thinking, but what we were seeing was part of a colored circle, a rainbow around the sun, but only visible where there were ice crystals in the high clouds.

That's called a sunbow. It's not like a rainbow. Rainbows are centered around the anti-solar point, the point farthest away from the sun. A sunbow is centered around the sun. It was a pretty rare sighting. Moonbows, colored rings around the moon are much more common, so we were quite pleased with such a fine view.

A blue grouse

Mountain view

A piece of the sunbow

Another piece, more lightly colored

Together, these were parts of a ring of color around the sun.


Lupines and mountain friends


Avalanche lilies

More avalanche lilies

One of the many marmots

Keywords: grouse, hurricane hill, atmosphere, science, marmots

06/25 - Klahane Ridge - Round Two

We tried climbing Klahane Ridge again. This time we got within a 150 foot climb to the ridge, but just couldn't face trudging through the mound of snow blocking the trail. We had made our way through a couple of snow barriers, but this last one was enough for us.

We will be back.

This time we climbed higher.

The distant mountains

Mountains and ridges

Snow and mountains and ...

Our impasse

From high on the ridge

The trail

Keywords: klahane ridge

06/24 - Klahane Ridge - Round One

We didn't get very far up on our first attempt to climb Klahane Ridge via the Switchback Trail, but we did get some beautiful views. We also saw a group of mountain goats on the hillside to the west. We will be back.

Mountains, green, snow, clouds

Glacier lily

Green hillside

Mountain goats

Another view of the mountain goats



A butterfly - This has been a great year for them.

The hillside

Keywords: klahane ridge, mountain goats

06/19 - Hurricane Hill - Critters

We've been getting up to Hurricane Hill to watch the snow melt, enjoy the views, gawk at the flowers and do some wildlife spotting. Hurricane Hill is great place for seeing all sorts of animals: marmots, bears, hares, deer and even mountain goats. Well, we didn't see any mountain goats this time, but we saw just about everything else.

The scene

A black bear ...

... from a safe distance

One of the marmots, not Marmot Rock

Melting snow

More snow on the north face

Another marmot

Yet another marmot

A snowshoe hare


The lupines are back; we missed them last year.

Keywords: animals, flowers, hurricane hill, marmots

06/15 - 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

06/10 - Barnes Creek and Marymere Falls

The Barnes Creek trail is a little gem starting on the south side of Lake Crescent. The forest is much wilder than one might expect for a place so accessible. We made a quick side trip to Marymere Falls which was running full spate. Then we headed up Barnes Creek a bit. Most people just do the loop to the falls, but the trail along the creek has its rewards. We had some good views of the creek, and we got to see our favorite little waterfall before heading back.

Wild forest

More wild forest

Marymere Falls

Another view of Marymere Falls

Pacific dogwood in bloom

Barnes Creek

Our favorite little waterfall

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, waterfall

06/09 - Elwha Trail Update

We were on the Elwha Trail again. The trilliums are almost gone, but the sedums are out as are the butterflies.

The first crossing

One of the butterflies

One of the sedums

The trail

And more of the trail

Keywords: elwha

06/01 - Hoh Rain Forest - Part 1

It's a fairly long ride out to the Hoh Rain Forest, nearly two hours from Port Angeles, but we figured we should get out to the West End as often as we can before the road repairs on 101 along Lake Crescent make it an even longer journey. We hadn't been out to the Hoh in a while, so we had nearly forgotten just how beautiful it is. Even the Upper Hoh Road is beautiful, and it gets even more beautiful as one approaches the visitor center.

We took the main Hoh River Trail. It's a gentle walk with just a slight incline that eventually takes one up to the Blue Glacier. The predominant color is green. This is lush rain forest. The trees are adorned with ferns and vines, and the forest floor is covered with mosses and ground cover. It is easy to lose perspective and not realize just how big some of the trees are. So many of them are giants.

Most of the trail is inland, but it follows the river for a while. It's worth heading up the trail, if only for a half hour or so to get a good close look at the river. It is that milky blue of glacial meltwater. Then the trail heads inland again and passes over a pretty waterfall. It's just a side stream feeding the Hoh, but it cascades down the valley wall.

One of the elk visible from the road to the visitor center

The green forest floor

Some of the trail

One of the big trees

Twisty trees

A bit of the Hoh River

Another look at the river and the mountains upstream

A bit of the waterfall and rapids

More of that side stream

The waterfall up above

And the waterfall below


May 2017June 2017 July 2017