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08/06/19 - Obstruction Point - The Hike

We went out to Obstruction Point again and took our usual walk along the ridge. Most of the snow had melted, and there was just a touch of late summer color - a bit of red and a bit of gold - creeping in.

There are more pictures of flowers and marmots in another post.


This is actually a view from the start of Obstruction Point Road at Hurricane Ridge.

The trail

The little lake one sees descending the staircase

The stone staircase

Distant mountains with melting snow

Another bit of trail

Yet another bit under a big gray sky

The Olympic Mountains

Three recently melted lakes below a cirque

More of the trail - Can you guess which side is the north face?

Another view with a bit of autumn color

Distant mountains in the cloud

A peek at the big mountains

Still another bit of trail

Another spectacular view - The whole trail is like this.

Keywords: obstruction point, summer


08/05/19 - Obstruction Point - Flowers and Criters

Here is that post full of flowers, marmots and a butterfly mentioned in the next post.

A happy marmot - Look at that smle.

Another happy marmot - Look at that banquet of lupines.

A resting butterfly

Late phlox

Pink paintbrush among others

Another assemblage of flowers

Some lupines, some snow

More phlox

Some asters among the rocks

Rock plants

Flowers and scenery

Dark headed grasses

Lupines and snow, again

Seen by the trail

Harebells

Keywords: flowers, marmots, obstruction point


07/20/19 - Obstruction Point, First Look

Obstruction Point Road has been open for a while now. We finally drove out and took our usual walk along Lilian Ridge to check out the wildflowers, the marmots, the snow melt fed lakes and the beautiful scenery. Most of the snow had melted, but there were still scraps of it around. We caught some of the last glacier lilies and first lupines. We weren't used to the altitude, so even the 200' or so initial climb from the parking area was a bit of a struggle, but we made it.

Clouds in the sky, color on the ground

Another look

Fields of red and green and melting snow

Distant mountains, descending the staircase

A last patch of snow on broken rock

Glacier lilies

Harebells

The trail

One of the lakes

Phlox

Ripples on a lake

Rock garden

Striking red paintbrush

Four little lakes

Lupines

The trail again

A bit of the view

Another field of color

One of the marmots

Keywords: flowers, marmots, obstruction point


08/19/18 - Obstruction Point - Lupines and Grice

Hiking the trail out of Obstruction Point is a lot like walking through Venice. It is hard not to take a picture postcard perfect shot by just raising one's camera and pressing a button. This time, we captured the brilliant sun, the late summer scene, some grice or grouses, or perhaps both.

Instant picture postcard - It's instagrammable up there.

Lupines

Mountains

Little lakes below

More mountains

Flowers

More lupines - This wasn't a great season for them, so we really appreciated these.

Green

Another picture postcard

One grouse

Another grouse - To paraphrase Walt Kelley, The grouse is a singular animal; no one can say two of them.

The trail

Even more flowers

Keywords: grouse, obstruction point, summer


07/16/18 - Obstruction Point Road - Early Light

We've been getting up early to avoid the summer traffic to Hurricane Ridge. We drove out to Obstruction Point, and the early morning light gave everything an amazing glow with the bright colors set off by deep shadows. These pictures barely capture it.

Morning light

A hare

A butterfly

The trail

Distant mountains

Less distant mountains

A lake below

More mountains

More morning light and melting snow

The trail

Flowers

Keywords: obstruction point, summer


06/30/18 - 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

Phlox

Avalanche lilies

Glacier lilies

A view from the road

Another marmot

Pasque flowers

Keywords: marmots, obstruction point, flowers


06/28/18 - 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


07/31/17 - Obstruction Point

We made another visit to Obstruction Point to see how the season has been progressing. The snows have continued to melt and more flowers have come into bloom.

Flowers and mountains - That's why we come out here.

A view down

Lupines

More lupines

The trail as it goes

More flowers

The less shy of two birds

A seasonal lake

Another seasonal lake aforming

Even more flowers

Another seasonal alpine lake

Keywords: flowers, obstruction point


07/12/17 - Obstruction Point

All of Obstruction Point Road is now open, so we drove out to the end and took a little stroll. The air was high and thin. There was still a little snow to deal with on the trail, but otherwise the going was easy. The fields and hillsides are full of flowers. The distant mountains are covered with snow, but it is melting and the seasonal alpine lakes are forming. It was a magnificent hike, one we hope to repeat soon.

Melting snow on the trail

There were lots of lupines this year.

Mountains in the distance



Glacier lilies

More flowers

One of the alpine lakes

Even more flowers

Spring is here.

An avalanche across the way

Keywords: flowers, obstruction point


10/22/16 - First Snow on Hurricane Hill

Hurricane Hill was windy and cold, and the first snow has fallen. Obstruction Point Road is already closed, and it looks like we are having an early winter. The Hurricane Hill Trail started below the snow line, but we could see a lot more snow on the Olympic Mountains and snow on Mount Angeles early on. As we neared the summit, we saw the first snow by the trail. There wasn’t all that much snow, but this part of the mountain faces south. We could see a lot more snow on the north face, and the little seasonal lake has reformed after having dried out this summer.

The wintry air and clouds played tricks with the light. There were bands of crepuscular light as the sun shone through gaps in the clouds. There was even a bit of a light column glowing brightly with the sunlight reflected and concentrated by ice crystals. There wasn’t much of a view as we made our ascent, but at the summit the clouds blew past, so we had great views on our walk down. We often tell people to take the trail even when visibility is limited as things are likely to change. We were well rewarded for taking our own advice, but by the time we returned to our car, the clouds had started to close in again.


A last bit of color

Mountains and sky

The summit and the first snow

Crepuscular light

Mount Angeles snow

The north face

Snow on the trail - Doesn’t that look like winter?

Almost like autumn again

Autumn color

More shafts of light

A light column

Keywords: hurricane hill, obstruction point, winter


09/30/16 - The Plains of Mars

Winter is coming to the high country. The greens are turning into browns and reds and golds. At Obstruction Point the colors are brilliant, and the fields of bright red foliage remind us of the plains of Mars. Of course, thanks to NASA we now know that Mars looks nothing at all like Lilian Ridge, but the colors still evoke the fantastic Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs. The high country is always a bit otherworldly, but it is at its most spectacular and alien when the colors start to change.

The mountains of Mars

More mountains with Martian vegetation in the foreground

Red and a shock of gold

Fields of Mars

More Martian landscape

Seasonal color change

Changing colors from a distance

The red land encroaches on a dying sea

Lakes and seas of gold

More plains of Mars

Another Martian view

Keywords: high country, obstruction point


07/29/16 - Obstruction Point

We waited for a sunny day before heading out to Obstruction Point. We really did not want to be caught on the road out in the fog. We were well rewarded with spectacular high country views, alpine flowers and the return of the alpine lakes, even now filling with melting snow. It is always an otherworldly experience, a journey to the top of the world and another clime.

The trail

One of the views - the Olympic range

Another view

A seasonal lake

Glacier lily - It’s still early spring out there.

Some lupines, nice to see

Another seasonal lake

A lake and melting snow

Yet another view of the mountains

Another lake and melting snow

Phlox, a sign of spring

Keywords: flowers, high country, obstruction point


06/12/15 - Top of the World

Obstruction Point Road has been open to the end for some weeks now. We've been recovering from our colds, so we weren't too keen on a big dose of dry, thin air. Then we hiked up Hurricane Hill and realized that this year's flowers are well along. If we hoped to see the blossoms at Obstruction Point, we would be ill served by delay.

So, we drove out from the Hurricane Ridge parking lot and were soon on the top of the world. The Olympic Range was gloriously visible across the valley, there were still a few patches of snow, and there were flowers in bloom. The air was dry and thin, but it was great to see the seasonal lakes, some already vanishing, and enjoy the tapestry of alpine plants and flowers.


Some of the tapestry with some mountains

Lingering snow

A pine cone

A seasonal lake, drying quickly

A last glacier lily

Another seasonal lake, also drying

More mountains

The Olympic Range in the distance

Phlox and wall flowers

Another seasonal lake

Less snow, more lakes

Keywords: flowers, obstruction point


09/12/14 - Fall Colors at Obstruction Point

We always like the Lilian Ridge hike out of Obstruction Point in the autumn. In truth, this hike has its charms in every season, but in the fall the wild, high country foliage starts changing color. There are bright yellows, pale silvers, and some amazing brilliant reds. The high country is exotic enough, but sometimes we feel like we are on another world, hiking the bright red plains of Mars.

Bright reds set off by deep summer greens

One of the many crickets about

More brilliant red

Red fields and red stairs

More early autumn color

A few last harebells

Cedums and dried flowers

More alpine flowers

A patch of red

Red grasses

More red fields

Keywords: autumn, high country, obstruction point


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