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meck
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PostThu Jul 23, 2020 11:35 pm 
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Bogachiel River Trail, ONF-ONP
20-22 July 2020


My wife and I wanted to go on a backpacking trip we could both enjoy. A river hike sounded good to her, and I was still looking to hike the entire Bogachiel River trail, so off we went.  We got a late start from the TH around 1400 and hiked in ~10 miles to Flapjack Camp.

There's the mileages!
There's the mileages!
View of the river from near a trail re-route.
View of the river from near a trail re-route.

The first ten miles of the trail are generally good.  There are some muddy sections, but most everything is brushed out, blowdown is cut, and the trail reroutes around washout are great given the dirt and rock available to work with (a fair bit of up and down).  My wife and I had met two hikers who had come down the trail that day and they warned me the upper section was brushy.  With the hot (and humid) weather we were pretty wiped out when we reached camp by ~1910.

Looking back down the hallway of green
Looking back down the hallway of green
view of the river from where the [url=http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8027118]Snider-Jackson North trail[/url] arrives at the Bogie.
view of the river from where the Snider-Jackson North trail arrives at the Bogie.

Flapjack Camp appears to be a series of mini-meadows along the river.  We stayed at a camp site that was used recently (i.e. the grass was already flattened).  Recreation.gov said the camp can accommodate 38, which it probably could if some of the tall grass in the mini-meadows could be trampled by a tent, but that limit still seemed a bit high to us (there was plenty of space across the river on the sandbars though if you like the sun).

view to the river from one of the camp meadows (I don't think this campsite will last much longer)
view to the river from one of the camp meadows (I don't think this campsite will last much longer)

After setting up camp, we ate dinner and then went down to the river to check it out.  I forded the river and went over to where the eastern ford connection site from the Snider-Jackson South trail reaches the Bogie (I'd visited this from the trail 2 years ago). The water was unexpectedly cool-warm (as compared to the cold N. Fk Skokomish), so it felt pretty good to wade in it (only knee deep where we were crossing).

Me, across the river waving back to my wife, from the Snider Jackson south (east) trail end.
1 label
Me, across the river waving back to my wife, from the Snider Jackson south (east) trail end.

The next day my wife enjoyed some time reading around camp, while I explored upriver.  I spent the whole day in my swim suit, and must have crossed the river 15-21 times.  Aside from a few deeper sections (behind boulders, and the occasional pool) the water was no deeper than mid-thigh, and most of the time below knee level.  I found a nice pool (appeared to be ~10' deep) about 1/2 mile upriver to take a quick plunge into, very cool, but not uncomfortably so.

hiking straight up the river in watershoes and a swimsuit, I'm not sure it gets any better than this on a hot day.
hiking straight up the river in watershoes and a swimsuit, I'm not sure it gets any better than this on a hot day.
stonecrop growing in the sandbar/river shore sand flats.
stonecrop growing in the sandbar/river shore sand flats.
the nice deep pool
the nice deep pool
I wonder what the story was here?
I wonder what the story was here?
gotta love Oly rock, one in the background looks like concrete, one in the foreground looks like polished concrete.
gotta love Oly rock, one in the background looks like concrete, one in the foreground looks like polished concrete.

That evening we went swimming in the ~7' deep river pool right below the camp (formed by currents passing under a fallen tree), refreshing on a warm evening.  We enjoyed the evening meal on a large table-like boulder near the river edge just downriver.

nice swimming pool, though a tad cool.
nice swimming pool, though a tad cool.
Evening light on the trees across the Bogie
Evening light on the trees across the Bogie

It sprinkled overnight, adding just a little bit of moisture to ever single plant's leaf.  The next day we packed up camp and were on the trail by ~0800.  While my wife headed back to the TH and over to Solduc, I headed upriver on the trail to hike the section I'd not already been on... it was an interesting experience.

The next camp after Flapjack is 15-Mile Camp, then Hyak, then 21-Mile Camp, then the trail junction with the Mink Lake Trail (from Solduc Hot Springs resort).  It took me 11.5 hours to cover the 18 miles to the Solduc Resort.  The trail is the most jungle-like in the Olympics I've been on right now.  The worst brushy section was the ~1-mile leading up to 15-Mile Camp, the ~3 miles from 15-Mile to Hyak, and ~1 mile after Hyak.  I was soaked from the waist down by the brush for ~7 miles of the hike.  There was also a lot of blowdown.

there were many sections of mud like this.  Many sections...
there were many sections of mud like this.  Many sections...
marsh next to the trail
marsh next to the trail
I found this river bend really picturesque, so I took a picture.
I found this river bend really picturesque, so I took a picture.
beautiful maples
beautiful maples
bright green horsetails (no this image was not edited).
bright green horsetails (no this image was not edited).
follows the cairns to find the trail on the other side.
follows the cairns to find the trail on the other side.
one good thing about mud?  The giant animal prints you come across!
one good thing about mud?  The giant animal prints you come across!
Recent blowdown [url=https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report-2020-07-06-4978104447]cut by trail crew (WTA?)[/url], there were several places that were recently worked like this.  I really, really appreciated this, especially compared to later trail sections further up.
Recent blowdown cut by trail crew (WTA?), there were several places that were recently worked like this.  I really, really appreciated this, especially compared to later trail sections further up.
15-mile shelter.  Don't camp here, its not that nice.
15-mile shelter.  Don't camp here, its not that nice.

I walked off the trail in three locations (usually where some blowdown had come across the trail and obscured where the tread was) but was able to recover the path by going uphill, then downhill a few dozen feet looking for the "trail trench".  Thankfully on the brushy sections, the trail is usually straight, so I just let my feet do the navigation (if no stems/ferns/stalks/branches were hitting my legs below the knee then I was on trail) while I pushed everything out of my way.  I can say that these sections would be a nightmare to navigate in low-light conditions.

just imagine going through this when its wet...
just imagine going through this when its wet...
the bridge over the north fork of the Bogie (the south fork branched away before 15-mile camp).
the bridge over the north fork of the Bogie (the south fork branched away before 15-mile camp).
view downstream from the bridge
view downstream from the bridge
view upstream from the bridge
view upstream from the bridge
this is a view you may see a lot of...
this is a view you may see a lot of...
more fern covered trail
more fern covered trail
the trail goes through this.
the trail goes through this.
taking a break, on blowdown, with completely soaked trousers.
taking a break, on blowdown, with completely soaked trousers.

After finally reaching Hyak Camp (4.5 hours after leaving, and only ~6 miles from Flapjack) I was relieved to see the old shelter.  The entrance to and from the Hyak Camp "meadow" are sort of obscure right now if you don't know where you are going (I didn't), but thanks to the brush-bashing of the other two hikers (boy did that help!) I was able to figure out where to go without too much wandering in circles.

What's that in the distance?
What's that in the distance?
there is the camp shelter!
there is the camp shelter!
Hyak Camp sign
Hyak Camp sign
enter Hyak Camp (from downriver) through that gap in the trees (there are moss-covered puncheon bridges on both the entrance and exit to the camp area)
enter Hyak Camp (from downriver) through that gap in the trees (there are moss-covered puncheon bridges on both the entrance and exit to the camp area)
leave Hyak Camp over there!
leave Hyak Camp over there!
the river right behind the Hyak Camp site.
the river right behind the Hyak Camp site.
the puncheon bridge that leads away (upriver) from Hyak camp.  I missed seeing it altogether the first time.
the puncheon bridge that leads away (upriver) from Hyak camp.  I missed seeing it altogether the first time.

After about a mile the vegetation begins to change slowly and the trail becomes very recognizable again.  The trail after 21-Mile Camp all of the way to Mink Lake trail is fine.  Not a lot of water sources after about 1.5 miles from 21-Mile Camp (once the switchbacks start in earnest out of the N Fk. Bogachiel drainage.  The views of Mt Olympus from the ridgeline portion of the trail to Mink Lake Trail, were pretty good for about 200 yards.

yup, gotta go through this too
yup, gotta go through this too
lots of ferns
lots of ferns
terrain opening up more
terrain opening up more
some blowdown piles
some blowdown piles
21-mile camp and the remains of its shelter?
21-mile camp and the remains of its shelter?
the puncheon bridges were in much better condition as this elevation (~3400':)
the puncheon bridges were in much better condition as this elevation (~3400')
Such greenery!
Such greenery!
Froggie in the forest
Froggie in the forest
Beargrass is all over the place along the open areas of the ridge
Beargrass is all over the place along the open areas of the ridge
Wildflowers blooming along the trail
Wildflowers blooming along the trail
View of Mt Olympus
View of Mt Olympus
view to the NE
view to the NE
Mink Lake shelter
Mink Lake shelter
Mink Lake
Mink Lake
More beargrass blooming
More beargrass blooming

The trip down the Mink Lake trail went quickly.  I arrived back to my wonderful wife on the Solduc side at 1930.  I love the Oly River hikes!

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*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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cascadetraverser
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 6:14 am 
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Very cool.  Did you run into Bogachiel Beth?
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graywolf
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 7:14 am 
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Awesome timing.  My wife and I are trying to decide where to go for three or four days, and this really helps.  Thank you.

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The only easy day was yesterday...
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meck
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 7:57 am 
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CT:  No, didn't see her this time.  The alltrails youtube interview with her is really cool!  Based on the interview, she's been up every creek in the valley too, wow!  After the first two miles of the trail (saw maybe seven day hikers), we only saw the two hikers coming down the trail.  My wife saw a few more folks on her way out to the TH; I saw no one else until Mink Lake.

Graywolf:  My wife and I talked to a WCC trail team member at the Solduc resort and he mentioned they may be sending a team up the Bogie later this summer for work.  My wife and I really enjoyed the lower 10 miles of the trail and swimming in the river.  While I appreciate the adventure of the upper 14 miles (the jungle feel and numerous blowdowns, at least 6+ crawl unders, 6+ clamber-overs), I'm not sure it felt particularly unique as compared to other Oly upper river drainages.  I would not recommend camping at 15-mile camp for any reason other than necessity due to failing light; it looked rather boring.  Hyak had the nearby N. Fk of the river (with some smallish pools), and 21-mile camp was close to a water source and "creek sounds".  Be prepared for mud!

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Ski
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 8:53 am 
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excellent. up.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Hesman
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 9:10 am 
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Nice!

The Bogie has been on my bucket list of trails to hike for a long time.

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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graywolf
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 1:09 pm 
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meck wrote:
CT:  No, didn't see her this time.  The alltrails youtube interview with her is really cool!  Based on the interview, she's been up every creek in the valley too, wow!  After the first two miles of the trail (saw maybe seven day hikers), we only saw the two hikers coming down the trail.  My wife saw a few more folks on her way out to the TH; I saw no one else until Mink Lake.

Graywolf:  My wife and I talked to a WCC trail team member at the Solduc resort and he mentioned they may be sending a team up the Bogie later this summer for work.  My wife and I really enjoyed the lower 10 miles of the trail and swimming in the river.  While I appreciate the adventure of the upper 14 miles (the jungle feel and numerous blowdowns, at least 6+ crawl unders, 6+ clamber-overs), I'm not sure it felt particularly unique as compared to other Oly upper river drainages.  I would not recommend camping at 15-mile camp for any reason other than necessity due to failing light; it looked rather boring.  Hyak had the nearby N. Fk of the river (with some smallish pools), and 21-mile camp was close to a water source and "creek sounds".  Be prepared for mud!

I've been to the upper part from the Sol Duc side as far as Hyak.  It was obvious this trail doesn't get much traffic by the complete lack of rodents at this shelter.  On our way in, on the traverse before dropping through Slide Pass, we met the trail crew coming out.  They warned us that they were only able to brush out the trail as far as Hyak, and below that it was a jungle.  My buddy spent a couple of hours going down the trail, but gave it up because of how bad it was.

Then we came back from the downstream access a few weeks later to do some fishing.  We camped at Flapjack, and found it very enjoyable - camped out on a gravel bar.  Took a hike the next day up river, and agree with you about 15 mile camp.  It was dark, boring, dreary - name your term.  As I recall it sat on a little bench just barely off the trail, and had no redeeming features to it other than consideration as a true emergency shelter.

Anyways, we're going to give it a few weeks to dry out some more, then we'll entertain the thought of hiking up the trail.

In the meantime, we're going up the Hoh for a few days.  My wife hasn't been up there in a couple of years, and we both enjoy it immensely.  Probably squeeze in a day hike up to Hoh Lake if we can.

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wanagel
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 4:28 pm 
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Hi, you were correct when you guessed that WTA had cut out those large logs. I just led an all-volunteer crew in there to clear and brush as much as time allotted. Originally I had a second crew scheduled that would have exited just a few days ago. That crew would have cleared from 15 mile shelter, where we left off, to as far as we could get. Unfortunately due to a series of factors initiated by Covid restrictions, that crew got canceled. That's why there are still so many trees down past 15 mile shelter. In addition, the crew I did have got cut down to only 6 of us due to - again - Covid restrictions. Otherwise I would have had another power brusher and we would have cleared even more of that awful brush than we did (we cleared 3.7 miles in all of brush with soooooo many miles left to go and it's awful!). Anyway, the good news is since we got a really good start (and WCC did a lot of work before where we picked up), the ONP is going to send in another crew to tackle those dozens (hundreds) of trees past 15 mile shelter. Unfortunately I very much doubt they will also have a brusher with them because you can't get mules much farther than Flapjack. I love the Bogie.
-Rebecca, volunteer WTA crew leader
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meck
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 6:06 pm 
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Ski & Hesman: Thanks for giving this a read.  I may have complained about the upper section of the trail, but it is definitely bucket-list worthy.  I've only got ~21 miles left of trail in the ONP to hike (not counting the wilderness coast), and maybe another 12 in the ONF to complete my goal of hiking the whole Park and NF (its been fun to visit them all).

Graywolf:  Yeah, the mud was already drying up a bit (less watery, more squishy), but another couple of weeks couldn't hurt.  Have fun on the Hoh (Hoh lake was really beautiful the last time I was there in 2018).

Wanagel (Rebecca): Thank you so much for the time you and your volunteer teams put in!!! The size of those blowdowns cut through was tremendous and I appreciated being able to travel comfortably through those areas and the sections that were brushed out! (much nicer being able to enjoy the scenery while hiking through it, than fighting it, with a 40 lb pack).  Even if the next team can't brush the sections, being able to travel without the constant clamber-overs and crawl-unders of blowdown would be a great improvement.  My wife and I can see why you love the Bogie.

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wanagel
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 6:10 pm 
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Yeah those big blow downs were fun to cut. Made me super glad we had chain saws instead of crosscut saws. Wed still be there! 😂
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Lotus54
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 8:07 pm 
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I have spent a fair amount of time up the Bogie.

Ken & I brushed and opened it back in 1976.  It was really bad then, it was very good after we were done.

Other time just walking and other times on the trail crew working.


Oh yeah, Ive landed at Hyak in the meadow in the past- sure not going to happen now!

There used to be a ranger station at Hyak (fire guard accidentally burned it down).
Flapjack used to have very large meadows.

I was going to upload some pics but none of my free photo accounts work.

Mark
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Lotus54
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 8:26 pm 
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1976-
Before and after brushing


And Hyak

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Ski
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PostFri Jul 24, 2020 8:53 pm 
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^ you need a longer bar on that saw! dizzy.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Dick B
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PostSat Jul 25, 2020 8:43 am 
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I hiked into Flapjack back in the early 60s to meet up with my brother and his wife. There was a shelter there at the time. I remember it as a small enclosed cabin rather than a typical open structure. Does anyone have a history or picture of this shelter? I have a slide of it buried somewhere in my undigitized collection, but haven't clue where it is. Some day it may show up.
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wanagel
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PostSat Jul 25, 2020 8:47 am 
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As an extremely avid volunteer trail worker, I love seeing photos of long ago trail work. Thanks!
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