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Eaglecadd
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PostSat Oct 17, 2020 2:23 pm 
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Has anyone ever gone up the Queets River and found a route up into Upper Queets Basin to Dodwell Rixon Pass?

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PostSat Oct 17, 2020 3:40 pm 
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Yes.

Robert L. Wood, but it's only decribed in the vaguest of terms in one of his "Olympic Mountains Trail Guide". (Second edition, if my memory serves me correctly.)

and Mike MacFerrin (aka "gobluehiker") several years ago, in his attempt to get to Service Falls, but he chose to remove all of the public posts on the internet which detailed his journey.

You need to stay on the north bank of the river once you get past Alta Creek, if you're following Mike's route.
Others have found remnants of a long ago abandoned trail on the south bank, which was punched through (presumably in the late 1920s) from approximately Alta to Kilkelly. (G.H. found the top end of it with a group a few years ago and followed it for maybe half a mile before they decided to drop back down to the river.)

One of the hurdles Mike ran into was at Paull Creek, where the bottom end of the creek drops down into a narrow and deep gorge. He found that by climbing back up (north) away from the river, he was able to find a spot where he could get across the creek.
Wood's narrative (in the aforementioned trail guide) seems to place him higher through that stretch than what Mike described.

As I recall, Ernie found a chunk of trail (with a benchmark, no less) immediately north of Paull Creek, high up on the ridge, neither end of which was connected to anything. Rod and I tossed it back and forth here, speculating as to what it might have been, but none of the theories presented really made much sense.

And then there's nwhikers.net member brownster145, who hasn't been around for some time, who simply wandered up to a point above Paull Creek by wading up the river. This of course can only be done in late summer during low-flow years. I do not believe he made it much farther than Paull Creek.

I've been pretty far up the valley, but not past Kilkelly. Because I wasn't carrying any GPS unit I wouldn't be able to say for certain exactly where I was, but it was quite a ways up. It's definitely not an area for novices or daredevils, and once you're more than 20 or 30 feet from the water, there is no horizontal - only vertical. It pretty much turns into something of a gorge once you're above Hee Hee, and then becomes impassible past Paull.

I'm not sure where to tell you to search on this site for the discussions I mentioned above, but you could start with the names of the individuals and creek names listed.

Be sure to let us know how it all works out for you. wink.gif

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PostSat Oct 17, 2020 8:24 pm 
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down the rabbit hole:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=884214#884214

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=884215#884215

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=887164#887164

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=887163#887163

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=887164#887164


those should give you a starting point. scroll up, scroll down, and you'll find more information in some of the previous and subsequent postings.

pay particularly close attention to Rod's posts in those discussions - he tends to see things I overlook.

BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Eaglecadd
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PostSun Oct 18, 2020 4:46 pm 
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That's awesome info Ski. I keep looking for more old lost trails to re-find. If you know of any other great off-trail routes you could recommend, please let me know.

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PostSun Oct 18, 2020 5:03 pm 
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If you go back into my older TRs on the Queets, you'll find one (from 2008, as I recall) where I ran into a couple guys who were headed up the Queets to Hee Haw, and then intended to ascend the ridge spur up to Lake Beauty and from there connect to the Skyline Trail and then down into the North Fork Quinault.
It's apparently a "route" used by some - G.H. told me that was the route they took when they discovered the top end of the trail on the east (south) bank of the Queets near Kilkelly, although they started on the uphill side, came down from Lake Beauty, and then down into the Queets via the ridge spur on Hee Haw.

(G.H. is also the one whose party took five days to get from the North Fork Quinault "Big Creek" trailhead down to the Queets campground via Tshletshy Creek. Her communications regarding the trip did not sound as though it was either a fun or pleasant experience.)

nwhikers.net member Javman is another whose trip reports you might want to peruse:
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7960839
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7960311
Those are but two of his that are rather interiguing.
He also made a foray up to the back side of Pelton a few years ago, but I am not seeing a TR with that in the title. You might want to try using the "search" function on that one.

Both Sam and I have ventured up the Sams from the Queets trailhead, not via the route javman used. Sam went up much farther than me, and told me he found a pretty impressive stand of big Douglas Fir a couple miles up the valley - just a bit farther than I ventured up there.

Do bear in mind those are not destinations for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

Also if you're thinking about the Sams in the fall during hunting season, be sure you've got some orange either on you or your pack - the area is prime elk and bear hunting territory. up.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Eaglecadd
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PostSun Oct 18, 2020 5:18 pm 
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I've also wondered about a way down from Lake Beauty. It is sort of levelish and open there. I have also found a reasonable route from Skyline to upper Elwha I would like to follow some day.

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RumiDude
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PostSun Oct 18, 2020 6:24 pm 
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Eaglecadd wrote:
I've also wondered about a way down from Lake Beauty. It is sort of levelish and open there.

Not trying to discourage you, but that has ben done by more than a couple people and they have all agreed it turned out to be more difficult than the topo made it appear.

Eaglecadd wrote:
I have also found a reasonable route from Skyline to upper Elwha I would like to follow some day.

I haven't done it myself but I spoke with a gent that has and he showed me on the map his route.

Rumi

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Pyrites
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PostSun Oct 18, 2020 8:46 pm 
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Ski et al. Ive wandered a little ways out on the ridge to the ENE of Tshletshy Ck in the past. Do you know of anyone staying on top of it clear to just above the mouth of Tshletshy Ck?

Best.

Pyrites.
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Tomlike
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PostMon Oct 19, 2020 7:59 am 
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Eaglecadd wrote:
I've also wondered about a way down from Lake Beauty.

I have traveled this route, as well as the route from Queets Basin to the Skyline trail on the Queets side.  If you want more information send me a PM
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Ghost
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PostMon Oct 19, 2020 5:12 pm 
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Yes, I have done the Queets from TH to Dodwell. But that was some time ago before accurate altimeters, much less GPS.  We managed the route that resulted from an attempt to follow the route Wood outlined - albeit bottom to top. We never created to the Jeffers, and instead dropped back down to the river near Service Falls, then took a rabbit hole bear trail (e.g., dog tunnel) hundreds of feet up (400-600) to plateau at a meadow across The Queets from the lowest Queets Basin.  It is roughly in this area that one come on the out-of-place ruins of an aircraft engine. Sorry this is not helpful.

I can add the following. Was in the Queets twice this season, once from Bogechiel-Baileys then earlier from Lake Beauty. Both are radically easier than going up the Queets.

Also, was in the Queets last year on a Sol Duc- Baileys-Humes-Glacier Meadows-HohLake loop and the year before that on a similar Lake Cushman to Hoh over Olympus Traverse. I have studied the rough extensively, including on google earth, and believe the cruxs are 1) blasting to the top of the east most leg of Paul Creek- not sooner and not the west branch, AND then 2) transitioning over the Jeffers then immediately up to the next basin to avoid going down.  The Jeffers drainage will want to send you downward - youll need to find a line up the far side.  When you get up there youll be in a meadow.   When you get to that meadow you are home free as it drops smoothly into the Queets River then easily up through the proper Queets Basins.

I do not believe there is any real trail in this area, nor do I think there ever was.  Im inclined to believe we are seeing Elk tracks.
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Ghost
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PostMon Oct 19, 2020 5:17 pm 
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Yes, that route goes. From just before Beauty, coming up from Low Divide.  First pass is easy. Second pass has steeper traverse. After the second pass there is a prominent point with a good campsite at its base and water right near by.
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Tomlike
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 8:40 am 
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@Ghost, welcome to the site!  Any chance you have any pictures from the trip up the Queets?
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Pyrites
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PostSat Oct 24, 2020 2:13 pm 
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Ski wrote:
As I recall, Ernie found a chunk of trail (with a benchmark, no less) immediately north of Paull Creek, high up on the ridge, neither end of which was connected to anything. Rod and I tossed it back and forth here, speculating as to what it might have been, but none of the theories presented really made much sense.

Have any of you old survey and map gurus ascertained a record of when this benchmark was placed?

Ghost, as just a regular hiker Im shocked by this description.

What I gather from all this is going from the pleasant flats of the upper Queets to the wonder of the Basin is not for many. And going downhill, without personal exploration is for no one.

Best.
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Ski
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PostSat Oct 24, 2020 5:01 pm 
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pyrites:

I believe the reference to the benchmark is in one of those threads I cited above, and as I recall it was discovered on an old map by RodF, who (unless I am mistaken) communicated with Ernie about it. (They live in close proximity.)

Try a search using "benchmark Queets" by author RodF and see if you can dig it up.

As I recall, it was almost due north of the mouth of Paull Creek. I may be off a bit - that conversation here was years ago.

BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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