Forum Index > Trip Reports > Elwha River, ONP  Dec 31st-Jan 1st, 2017/18
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Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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Joined: 27 Aug 2015
Posts: 63 | TRs
Location: Big Bend
Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
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PostTue Jan 02, 2018 11:46 am 
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I'm big on solstice worshiping and don't care too much about New Year's, so if the weather is good I tend to try and get away for an overnight to avoid the hubbub, etc.

With the Olympic Hot Springs Rd closure, the Elwha seemed like a good place to head for some solitary wandering.  It's a bit over 7 miles from the road closure (it's gated at the Madison Falls parking lot) to the Whiskey Bend TH.  Aside from the ~ 2 miles of paved walking to the Whiskey Bend Rd, it's an enjoyable walk to the TH; there are some breathtaking old-growth trees along the Whiskey...

I wasn't sure what to expect with snow, but overall there was much less than I thought there would be.  The Olympic Hot Springs Rd was probably 40% snow/ice covered, and the Whiskey Bend Rd was around 85% snow-free, with the last mile holding the most snow.  The trail was probably something like 40-50% snow-free, and when snow was present it was typically in the 1-5" range.  I turned around about .5 miles south of Remann's Cabin, but I think one could easily get to Hayes and possibly beyond with similar snow conditions.

The trail was in good shape for the most part, with 40-50 downed trees from the TH to Elkhorn.  The majority of these are 8" or less in diameter, and all are easy to step over, excluding the one pictured below.


Let the road walk begin!
Let the road walk begin!
There are nice views from the road
There are nice views from the road
The new washout is circled, with the blue dotted route being where a roughed-in trail is; it's the most direct way.  You can also use the .8 mile temporary access trail that was built for the previous road washout
The new washout is circled, with the blue dotted route being where a roughed-in trail is; it's the most direct way.  You can also use the .8 mile temporary access trail that was built for the previous road washout
Turn left at the bridge
Turn left at the bridge
Follow this trail for the most direct way around the washout
Follow this trail for the most direct way around the washout
Why the road is closed
Why the road is closed
Elwha Campground carnage
Elwha Campground carnage
I didn't want to backtrack, so I crossed on this log which is just downstream from the washout
I didn't want to backtrack, so I crossed on this log which is just downstream from the washout
Looking back at the new washout
Looking back at the new washout
Elwha RS
Elwha RS
I was surprised to see pemits
I was surprised to see pemits
Whiskey Bend Rd and a common theme in ONP
Whiskey Bend Rd and a common theme in ONP
There are always lots of deer on the Whiskey
There are always lots of deer on the Whiskey
The mighty Elwha; looking forward to seeing how this progresses over the years
The mighty Elwha; looking forward to seeing how this progresses over the years
Meowwwwww!
Meowwwwww!
Whiskey Bend TH
Whiskey Bend TH
Bad kitty!
Bad kitty!
Bad Boo-boo!
Bad Boo-boo!
Nearing Michael's Ranch
Nearing Michael's Ranch
Large catamount
Large catamount
Small herd of elk that was sunbathing at Michael's Ranch
Small herd of elk that was sunbathing at Michael's Ranch
Michael's
Michael's
Approaching Lillian River
Approaching Lillian River
Lillian River
Lillian River
The worst blow-down of the trip
The worst blow-down of the trip
Nearing Bowman Cr
Nearing Bowman Cr
Trees
Trees
One of my favorite "features" of ONP
One of my favorite "features" of ONP
It's amazing to see how the river shifted the log-jam onto the trail
It's amazing to see how the river shifted the log-jam onto the trail
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Nearing Elkhorn
Nearing Elkhorn
Elkhorn shelter
Elkhorn shelter
Elkhorn RS
Elkhorn RS
Elkhorn
Elkhorn
A beautiful moment
A beautiful moment
Lost River
Lost River
Elwha
Elwha
Remann's cabin
Remann's cabin
Sometimes I like eating breakfast food for dinner
Sometimes I like eating breakfast food for dinner
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Elwha
Catamount scrape
Catamount scrape
I love the giant cedars of Lillian River
I love the giant cedars of Lillian River
Lovely forest
Lovely forest
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 4314 | TRs
Location: Moscow, Id.
RichP
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PostTue Jan 02, 2018 12:11 pm 
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So good to see the Elwha free again. My biology/botany instructor at Peninsula College, the venerable Ed Tisch, back in the 80's said it would take decades for the silt to wash out from behind the dam after it was removed. It looks like it is going well.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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RumiDude
Marmota olympus



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 2519 | TRs
Location: Port Angeles
RumiDude
Marmota olympus
PostTue Jan 02, 2018 12:39 pm 
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Love love LOVE the Elwha River!

Thanks for the photo trip.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Foist
Sultan of Sweat



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 3507 | TRs
Location: Back!
Foist
Sultan of Sweat
PostTue Jan 02, 2018 1:20 pm 
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Very nice, Sir, thank you.
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cascadetraverser
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cascadetraverser
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PostTue Jan 02, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Really nice!  Good for you to get out in the dark cold winter!
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bobbi
stillaGUAMish



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 7922 | TRs
Location: olympics!
bobbi
stillaGUAMish
PostTue Jan 02, 2018 7:59 pm 
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fabulous adventure ...

did you 'hike from the gate all the way to Remann Cabin' in one day?

thanks for sharing it  up.gif

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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JustJoe
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JustJoe
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PostWed Jan 03, 2018 10:04 am 
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up.gif  up.gif  up.gif Thank you for such a refreshing TR.  That's certainly making the most of a two day pass.  "A beautiful moment" was truly a beautiful moment.
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Abert
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Abert
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PostThu Jan 04, 2018 2:09 pm 
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I was west of the Sol Duc Valley yesterday.  I'd known that there was a big localized snowfall before Christmas west of Port Angeles, but after seeing the snow in your photos I wondered whether I'd be able to get the car close enough on a forest service road to walk up a couple hills I'd planned to do.  It turned out I didn't hit snow until 2600'.  Quite a difference from the Elwha-Lake Crescent area.  There was also a big temperature inversion going on- 32 degrees at 1000' and 55 degrees at 2500'- to enhance the feeling that I was going from winter to spring just by driving a few miles west.

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Photos
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 9236 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostSat Jan 06, 2018 7:49 pm 
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up.gif A friend of mine said he might start taking the "Granola and Blueberries" for supper. Nice pics !

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Living in the Anthropocene
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mxleitner
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Joined: 07 Jun 2016
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Location: Seattle
mxleitner
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PostTue Jan 09, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Thanks for the inspiration!

Do you think the road is bike-able from the Madison Ck gate up the the Whiskey Bend TH?
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mxleitner
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mxleitner
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PostThu Jan 11, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Woohoo, good news. Thanks for the beta
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Elwha River, ONP  Dec 31st-Jan 1st, 2017/18
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