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Grumpy Bear
Grumpy Bear



Joined: 26 May 2023
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Grumpy Bear
Grumpy Bear
PostFri May 26, 2023 7:38 am 
Hi all, Iím planning/hoping to take a few night in Olympic National Park next weekend. Iím expecting there still to be a fair amount of snow at higher elevations but hoping someone here will have recent experience. The route I am looking at has the highest point at 4000í (Sky line junction - Three lakes to Elip Creek). I am pretty new to packing in anything that is not mid summer or low elevation. With that, does anyone here know what the trail looks like right now? Or more, should I bring micro spikes? I am a giant wimp when it comes to weight and I donít want to carry anything I donít need and am already planning to carry a bear canister. Which is new for me, though I have never gone into Olympic National Park before either (Iím renting one till can figure out what works for me). Any insight is appreciated, GB

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meck
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meck
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PostFri May 26, 2023 7:58 am 
Sorry no snow info just yet (haven't been down that way this year), though a lot of the trail is south facing after you break out of the tree near Three Lakes camp so it should melt out sooner (though there is a fair bit of tree cover on much of that loop...). Make sure to bring sufficient mosquito/bug protection. The two times I've been through there (the Three Lakes area, Elip Creek, Three Prune area) the bugs were quite bad when I stopped. A headnet might be well appreciated if you plan to camp there and explore (maybe take a peak over the ridge into a drainage for another creek).

*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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philfort
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PostFri May 26, 2023 8:12 am 
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hbb
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hbb
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PostFri May 26, 2023 10:14 am 
The Buckinghorse SNOTEL site is nearby, and is currently showing snow depth of 43 inches: https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=1107

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Grumpy Bear
Grumpy Bear



Joined: 26 May 2023
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Grumpy Bear
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PostFri May 26, 2023 5:21 pm 
Lots to think about. I am tired of waiting for the snow to retreat so I think I am going to give it a go. I think I will bring micro spikes and wear my boots. And be flexible as to my itinerary. Ranger station should open this weekend so should be able to get better info when I get up there. It is about a four hour drive for me. And it looks like I will be solo, so if things look dodgy I will just retreat. I would like something in the +10mi range per day, though the snow is in the way for a lot of that. Thanks for the tip on the bugs. Iíll make sure to bring my headnet and gloves . They come most of the time (sort of like my rain gear generally comes along). I might think about swapping to DEET. Iíve been using some different stuff recently. I also have a thermacell which does help which I might bring (another 6ozÖ). But I hammock and if the bugs are bad, having that thing running under the tarp makes things OK when not in said hammock. I am not a Ďpurestí by any stretch with weight. I usually carry a chair. Though I think it will stay home given the other adds.

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RAW-dad
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PostSun May 28, 2023 6:42 am 
I do not have any direct info on snow conditions for this year. That said, I expect there to be a lot above 3500 ft based on previous years. This might pose problems on the section from Three Lakes to the Reflection Lake area, as you are traversing on a pretty steep hill side in places. The other thing to think about is stream crossings... I'd be especially worried about the Big Creek crossing!

silence, Trailhead
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gb
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gb
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PostMon May 29, 2023 7:27 am 
RAW-dad wrote:
I do not have any direct info on snow conditions for this year. That said, I expect there to be a lot above 3500 ft based on previous years. This might pose problems on the section from Three Lakes to the Reflection Lake area, as you are traversing on a pretty steep hill side in places. The other thing to think about is stream crossings... I'd be especially worried about the Big Creek crossing!
I think there would be less snow than average this year at higher elevations, but that area gets a lot of winter precipitation. But, I would concur on the Big Creek crossing. In September last year it was far from trivial - and I am a climber. Were I to do it again I would carry a 40-50' 7 mil rope to hoist packs there and an ice axe to get purchase in steep dirt. But if the water were high in the steep, tight gorge, the water crossing itself could be very difficult. I would not carry microspikes; you can always start in the morning an hour later.

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kiliki
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PostMon May 29, 2023 9:23 am 
Quote:
I am tired of waiting for the snow to retreat so I think I am going to give it a go.
In May you are tired of waiting? Peak snowpack is late April. It's way too soon to be tired of waiting. The ONP rainforests and coasts are amazing this time of year, and we are having a stretch of way nicer than average weather. Why not plan something in those areas?

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Grumpy Bear
Grumpy Bear



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Grumpy Bear
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PostTue May 30, 2023 12:32 pm 
I know I am pushing it. Seems like the season goes so fast. Snow. Then bugs. Then fires. I'm trying to get an earlier start. I have done a few trips in smaller, coastal areas but wanting more distance without driving a day+. I am concerned about the river crossing and have changed plans. Not super comfortable with that given I will be alone. I am going with Enchanted Valley. I have never done it. I generally try to avoid the more popular routes as the number of people can take some of the fun out of it. And ONP does not allow more dispersed camping (unless I misunderstood something). Hoping that getting up there before school is out will help with crowds.

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