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Eaglecadd
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 7:56 am 
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I just returned from a 5 day mini-thru hike up the Skokomish River, out the Mt. Hopper way trail to Hagen Lakes and out past Lake of the Angels and down the Putvin Trail. The weather was up and down from bright sunshine to wet fog, but the scenery was great.
The Skokomish River trail is a popular one so there was lots of traffic there. It seems this is now a popular route to get up to La Crosse Pass and Marmot Lake. My friend and I walked up to 9 Stream on day one. I've done this route before so I didn't keep many pics of the area, just a few.


Day 2 we walked up past 2 Bear Camp and turned offonto the Mt. Hopper Way Trail. This is a seldom used trail, I use the term "Trail" loosely. Once again, this is another trail that will likely be lost unless someone gets out there and defines it by some minimal amount of clearing at least.
The "Burn" as I call it is a pretty big area where a past forest fire devastated the area some time ago.


It is really hard to find a pathway through this area except to follow some animal tracks. Generally, animals find the best routes through an area and I often follow their routes when I travel off trail. The problem is, they may not be going where I want to go...so I sometimes need to find my own way.

We walked along one of the animal tracks until we found a "Level Spot",he said tongue in cheek, to set up camp in for the night about half way along the way trail. We aptly named the campsite Bear Hovel. It must be a place bears rest or sleep on a regular basis as the ground was covered by bear poo. It was so fresh and dense that you could really smell it. I had trouble finding enough area to set up my tent where I was not on top of a pile. It was kind of a rough night because it wasn't level so I constantly rolled downhill in my tent. The good news is when we awoke, we were greeted by a couple bears very near camp. One was within about 150' of us. Both bears were pretty much oblivious of us as they rush to eat all they can to fatten up for the winter. I only had my cell phone for pics this trip so quality is not good.


The views from this area are really nice and the fog was playing Tag with us flowing in and out but that made for some nice pics.


As we started climbing up out of bear hovel, we came upon a heard of elk running down the hill. Funny, when they saw us, they mostly just stopped and watched us until we began walking again when they ran off.


After a while we crossed over into the basin which is where Hagen Lakes are. I love this area. It is so beautiful along the lake.


I am addicted to the high mountain huckleberries especially the very low ones which are sooo sweet. I am just like a bear in that I get down on all fours to crawl through them to eat continuously.


When we left Hagen Lakes, we climbed back up the rockfall to see the Great Stone Arrow. Then we travlled along the way trail to the "Chute" that leads up to the ridge above Lake of the Angels. This route is a bit perilous, but doable. The Chute is getting harder to climb as the roots, handholds, seem to be disappearing leaving areas with nothing to hold onto while you climb. As we reached the ridge, the fog rolled in again. It was so thick we couldn't see more than 50'max.
The trail down to LOA is clear ans easy. We found the lake and a great spot to set camp on rock beside the lake. One thing I love to do is take a good afternoon nap in the backcountry. So I did. Later when I got up, the fog was gone.. I decided to hike way back up into the cirque above the lake to a place on a rock with two small trees. I took a pan of the beautiful rockscape around me. Such a beautiful place.


The last day, we walked down into the Hamma Hamma river along the very steep Putvin Trail. There are a couple spots along the trail which are steep and tricky, but not too bad.
Another 5 days spent in my favorite backpacking areas in ONP.

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Hike until you Drop!
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reststep
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 12:12 pm 
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Oh boy does your report bring back some memories and love the picture of you eating the blue berries. It made me LOL watching it.  up.gif

Funny you should mention that bear den but we found what appeared to be a bear den in the same area.  Could have been the same one maybe.  It was on that ridge that runs from the pass above Fisher basin down toward Hagen Lakes. It was in kind of a copse of trees.  Anyway interesting stuff.

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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bobbi
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 6:50 pm 
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if your hat was black, you will be mistaken for a bear munching away at all those berries!

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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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Eaglecadd
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 7:25 pm 
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I'm not sure if this is an actual den, but at least where they spend a lot of time. I was on the west side of the ridge about 400' below ridgeline. We had been following a "Trail" traversing at about 200' above the Hovel. Trail was fairly distinct here. After a bit, we went up a steep trail to the ridge and we were on the west side of the drainage to Hagen.

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cascadetraverser
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PostSat Aug 31, 2019 12:18 am 
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Nice post!  A place I wanna go....
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RWSampson
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 5:12 am 
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I'm planning a trip to Hagen Lakes via the Putvin Trail.  From the Lake of The Angels, how far North, up the ridge toward Mt. Skokomish, do you have to hike to drop down to the other side of the ridge to the North Fork of the Skokomish headwaters valley?
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RAW-dad
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 7:00 am 
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Nice TR - thanks for sharing!

Interesting story about the bears... Over 20 years ago I was hiking alone on the way trail, perhaps a little closer to First Divide, and ran into a bear.  S/he was pretty close, maybe 50 ft away, and apparently did not like my presence, as it raised up on its hind legs, stuck its fore legs up, and gave a low growl. (Never saw anything like this before or since, with many 10's of bear encounters in ONP.)  I took that behavior as a sign to retreat, so I did, and as I was backing away I came across a freshly scratched tree, then another.  I've always thought I was on some sort of territory boundary and, dressed mostly in black, was perceived as a rival...
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rubywrangler
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 11:50 am 
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Thanks for this report! I too want to visit this area but would like to loop back to the Skokomish via Gladys Divide.  I've only found a couple of old (1997, 2006) WTA reports that made travel from LOTA to Gladys sound very unpleasant.  Have you  (or has anyone else) traveled that route more recently and/or have any insights to share?
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reststep
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 12:51 pm 
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Here is a description of that route from the climber's guide.

https://sites.google.com/site/climbersguideolympics/traverses/skokomishhamma1

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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RWSampson
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Thank you.  I am looking for a little more specific information on cresting the ridge from Lake of the Angels West to Hagen Lake.  I've scouted the West side of the ridge but it's all pretty step not too safe.  I'm thinking I have to hike the ridge toward the North and drop down somewhere.
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