May 2018June 2018 July 2018

06/30 - Obstruction Point - Flora and Fauna

The drive to Obstruction Point has its hairy moments along with its spectacular scenery. In the forested areas, where one cannot see the mountains, the forest floor is covered with avalanche lilies this time of year. In the fields as one approaches the point, there are marmots out foraging.

One of the marmots with glacier lilies

Glacier lilies up close

Early flowers

More blossoms

A little bird by the trail side


Avalanche lilies

Glacier lilies

A view from the road

Another marmot

Pasque flowers

Keywords: marmots, obstruction point, flowers

06/28 - Obstruction Point

The road from Hurricane Ridge out to Obstruction Point is usually closed well into July, but this year it opened in mid-June.Despite all the road construction, we made our way out there a few days ago. There was still a fair bit of snow, perhaps more than we have ever seen, but we ventured forth anyway.

There were marmots and wildflowers and lakes melting from the snow and ice. We made our way down the staircase and followed the trails to the overlook with its view of Grand Lake. It was still early in the season with phlox and glacier lilies here and there.

Right before the staircase

One of the little lakes

Another lake melting out

The trail, north and south

More of the trail

One of the smaller lakes on the way to Grand Lake

Walking on top of the world

Another view

There are amazing views from this trail.

A view from the staircase

More high country

Keywords: obstruction point, trails

06/26 - 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


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

06/20 - Second Beach - Starfish

Yes, there were starfish at Second Beach. There were lots of them out at the seastack, and we even found one on the beach. There used to be more, but more recently there were none. It's really good to see them back.

Starfish waiting out the low tide

Another starfish

Another starfish hunkering down

A view from the seastack

Another starfish lying low

More starfish

Starfish and anemones

More starfish and anemones

Yet another starfish

A starfish on the beach

A view of the beach

Keywords: second beach

06/19 - Second Beach - To The Seastack

Now and then there are really low tides out at Second Beach. A low tide below three feet is perfect for walking the beach, but a zero or negative low tide is perfect for exploring the seastack. We took advantage of a recent really low tide and braved the half hour construction delay along Lake Crescent. We lucked out and found a parking spot and made our way through the woods and down to Second Beach.

We were in time for the really low tide. We made our way south along the beach and were soon on a spit of beach heading towards the seastack. Sometimes it is possible to get to the seastack dry shod, but we had to wade for a bit, but we did it. We made it out to the seastack, and we had a pleasant surprise. There were starfish there, waiting out the low tide.

The 3/4 mile trail through the forest to Second Beach

Beach mist

Driftwood, sea mist and our goal ahead

More driftwood and sea mist

The seastack

Some of the caves on the seastack

The caves we explored

A view of the beach

Caves of the seastack

A view from the south end of Second Beach

Another view from the south

Keywords: second beach

06/14 - Can I Ride The Mules?

Olympic Hot Springs Road is still closed at Madison Falls. The mules have been relocated from their usual home at the start of Whiskey Bend Road to right past the end of the road. Clearly, we are not the only ones following the mules' progress. Others are curious about them too, so curious in fact that the park service has been asking the question that seems to be haunting everyone, "Can I ride the mules?" In brief, the answer is no. That isn't the question we tend to ask. We're more likely to ask if there has been any progress towards getting the road or a replacement for it opened.

Can I Ride the Mules?

Mule Camp is on the left.

A tiger lily

Where the river meets the road

Another view of the river

Keywords: elwha

May 2018June 2018 July 2018