Washington St.- Olympic Coast, Mt. St. Helens, Enchantments, San Juan Islands

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  1. #1

    Washington State: Olympic Coast, Mount St. Helens, The Enchantments, San Juan Islands

    5 week backpacking/ sea kayaking trip to Washington State with a group of 10, just got back on Saturday.
    Started off on the Olympic Coast, from Shi Shi Beach to Rialto Beach. Took 4 days, I think 27 miles in total, I could be wrong. Hiking on the beach was new to me, some types of sand are hard and really easy to walk on, but some you sink down 3 or 4 inches... Camped at some great campsites, tides weren't a problem, only had to take a few headlands but the views were awesome. Tide Pools all along the trip for the most part (Shi Shi Beach and Cape Johnson especially I think). Saw thousands of sea stars, anemones, brittle stars and the like. Saw only about 4 groups the whole time until we got to Hole-In-The-Wall (where the beach is.... like a regular beach, hundreds of people).

    After the Olympic Coast, we headed to Mt. St. Helens, and circumnavigated it on Loowit Trail 216, the best backpacking of my life. Camped at Plains of Abraham, really surreal. The trail was washed out horribly compared to last year as we learned from a hiker we passed, had to cross huge canyons with no trails, some pretty scary stuff but real fun too. At one point we hiked down a "sand bowl" and sort of got lost with the washout, ended up camping off trail and had to follow elk tracks to cross the canyon (the one before Sheep Canyon I believe). Days were long because you would have to take an extra hour just to plan a route down one side and up the other. Last day went pretty smoothly, camped right before the Ptarmigan trail (which went from the parking lot to the summit), in a really cool rocky section. Hiked the mountain the next day, but I believe 100 people have permits each day so it wasn't nearly as nice as the Loowit trail which we saw maybe 10 people in 4 days. I recommend the 216 trail to any backpacker, it's tough in places but worth it, you get to see some of the coolest places on Earth.

    We then took a break for a few days, took some day hikes in Mt. Raineer national park before heading to Wenatchee Forest and the Enchanments.

    The First day we hiked in to Colchuck Lake, which is so blue from the glaciers, pretty much like antifreeze colored. VERY cold but refreshing to swim in. The next day we hiked Aasgard pass, gained about 2000 vertical feet in about half a mile. My knees were bad this whole trip but by the end of the pass they were beyond bad... Camped near Aasgard pass for 3 nights, nice campsite. Mountain goats showed up every day, more common then deer in the Catskills. Tried to get to the top of Enchanment peak the next day as a day trip, but ended up just rock climbing and we had followed the contour too high, but we were just as high as the peak. Went "skiing" on some snow fields, really fun. Next day was one of only two days it rained on the trip (both in the Enchanments). Huge storm, stayed in tents all day pretty much. Next day we hiked through to Prusik pass for lunch, came back down and headed to Snow Lake. The end of the Enchanments is one of the coolest places I have ever been, looks like something out of a fairy tale. Camped at Snow Lake, horribly buggy, then packed out.

    Last week of the trip we went sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands, lots of people and pretty uneventful, but saw a ton of seals and bald eagles. Pretty fun had a 20 mile day which was against the current for most of it which sucked, but found some really nice campsites and places to stop for lunch.

    Most amazing trip I've ever been on, whole lot of fun.

    Some pictures:


    ^Olympic Coast^

    ^Olympic Coast^

    ^Olympic Coast^

    ^Mount Saint Helens^

    ^Mount Saint Helens^

    ^Mount Saint Helens^
    Last edited by adamti91; Nov 4, 2007 at 9:39 AM.
    lets go snowboarding

  2. #2
    Some more:


    ^The Enchantments^

    ^The Enchantments^

    ^The Enchantments^

    ^The Enchantments^

    ^The Enchantments^

    ^San Juan Islands^

    ^San Juan Islands^
    Last edited by adamti91; Nov 4, 2007 at 9:36 AM.
    lets go snowboarding

  3. #3
    Great shots & TR, Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy Trails, be safe & Good Luck
    Mike P.

  4. #4
    Wow, amazing!! The PNW coast is one I hear about a lot and have yet to explore... now I see why.
    Excellent!!
    Sign, sign everywhere a sign... pointing out the trails, can\'t make up my mind.

  5. #5
    Yeah it's definitely an awesome place.
    lets go snowboarding

  6. #6
    One time I started out on a month long road trip, destination Olympic NP by way of Glacier NP. As I was topping Logan Pass on Going to the Sun Highway, my transmission started acting up. I limped back to Wyoming and never made it to Washington. If I remember there are 5 tree species of trees where the largest in the world are in ONP. I also read where that sliver of the park on the coast is really amazing.

    Thanks for the TR and pics.
    www.firstlightphotographics.com

    " Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default,"

    To beat the grim reaper in life it's not about how long you live but how you live it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ski_resort_observer View Post
    One time I started out on a month long road trip, destination Olympic NP by way of Glacier NP. As I was topping Logan Pass on Going to the Sun Highway, my transmission started acting up. I limped back to Wyoming and never made it to Washington. If I remember there are 5 tree species of trees where the largest in the world are in ONP. I also read where that sliver of the park on the coast is really amazing.



    Thanks for the TR and pics.
    Yeah the coast was incredible, literally on the ocean for a week. Sorry about the car, the trees were huge compared to anything on the easy coast.
    lets go snowboarding

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