<< The Adventure Trail

09/27/08 - Above The Clouds To Lake Angeles

One of the things about living at sea level near the high country of the North Olympic Mountains is how different the mountain weather can be from the weather around our house. The weather is often cooler in the mountains, and the winds stronger. They call it Hurricane Ridge for a reason. The low country is subject to ocean mist condensed from the humid air by the cold waters of the strait. Sometimes, low clouds present an ominous sky to those at sea level, but the clouds top out at few thousand feet. That means bright sun in the mountains, and an opportunity for a good hike into sunshine.

We recently hiked up the Lake Angeles Trail on one such cloudy day. The lower part of the trail was gray. The fog thickened around 1000' APL (above parking lot, so that's about 2900' above sea level). We kept on climbing. Around 1800' APL the first shafts of sunlight broke through the trees and formed thick shafts in the fading mist. A bit more climbing and we were above the clouds. Lake Angeles itself (about 2400' APL) was sunny. In fact, it was so sunny, we had trouble getting a good picture as you can see.

Our descent mirrored our ascent. We went from the sunny day of the high country to foggy trail to the cloudy sky of the lowlands. We expect cloudy days out here in the Pacific Northwest, but it is nice to be able to climb our way out of them now and then.

The misty forest

The cliffs around the lake, and lots of sun

Sun on the lake

Keywords: high country, lake angeles, weather