Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Earliest Trails in the Olympics
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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostThu May 31, 2018 5:04 pm 
The link to the map is broken. I'm still trying to figure out where the Dry Creek trail went on its way down to Camp Comfort.

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meck
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PostThu May 31, 2018 11:14 pm 
Hi RR, it looks like the 1953 Mt Tebo quad depicts the trail. It drops down from the "Lebar Pass". Try this link to the USGS Historical Topo Map Explorer, move the map over to the Mt Tebo area, then click on the pass area, and look for the 1953 Mt Tebo quad map on the timeline below.

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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostFri Jun 01, 2018 5:35 pm 
Yes, that's it. I see it and it goes EXACTLY where I most recently predicted it did.. thanks! OH that is so cool, you can slide the transparency and see how it lines up with the modern map. The trail crossed very close to the four way intersection where I have to park. Another thing, from the 4 way up I think the old trail tread is almost all in what is still old growth forest!! That means it could be followed up the old way, thus avoiding the road walk. I think I could park at the 4 way and walk up the old trail! I have to park at the 4 way anyway thanks to my low clearance car. Maybe we could get the Mount Rose Trial crew to reopen the trail?? Wouldn't that be neat??

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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostSun Jun 03, 2018 6:59 pm 
I see some old maps show a trail behind Hammer Cabin that leads up to Smith Lake. No sign of that trail on current maps. Interesting. I really need to get out and find Hammer Cabin one year. Also we went out and found some sections of the Abandoned Dry Creek Trail: http://mosswalks.blogspot.com/2018/06/sluething-out-abandoned-section-of-dry.html

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meck
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PostSun Jun 03, 2018 7:26 pm 
I know, I've been eyeballing that old trail above the lake for potential exploration for a year or two now as well. I came across part of what appeared to be the old trail bed on this adventure when I was trying to traverse around to the Smith Lk waytrail (right where it turns from east to north in a small clearing depicted on the 1947 quad). I later visited the lk waytrail to trailbag that section last October (and visit its general "pit" of a location), but darned if it isn't even worse than a goat path... (if the old trail was as bad I'd say forget it!). The terrain can be darned steep, though that route looks a tad mellower. I looked for (not that closely) some sign of an old trail grade heading off to the right (east) but did not see anything obvious at that time.

*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostSun Jun 03, 2018 8:08 pm 
meck wrote:
I know, I've been eyeballing that old trail above the lake for potential exploration for a year or two now as well. I came across part of what appeared to be the old trail bed on this adventure when I was trying to traverse around to the Smith Lk waytrail (right where it turns from east to north in a small clearing depicted on the 1947 quad). I later visited the lk waytrail to trailbag that section last October (and visit its general "pit" of a location), but darned if it isn't even worse than a goat path... (if the old trail was as bad I'd say forget it!). The terrain can be darned steep, though that route looks a tad mellower. I looked for (not that closely) some sign of an old trail grade heading off to the right (east) but did not see anything obvious at that time.
Wow that was a heck of a route. I did black and white "lake" as a day hike but did not make it to Smith Lake. Mean to get back up there someday too. I went up the black and white lake way trail on that hike, it was steep for sure.. smile.gif http://mosswalks.blogspot.com/2016/07/black-and-white-lakes-dayhike_3.html I don't think I'd want to take the old trail up or down even if I could find it, but might like to traverse the high country part of it. One old map shows a fork in that trail, maybe more mines up there.

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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostSat May 30, 2020 2:53 pm 
Phil wrote:
Then the trail stays on east side before crossing almost all the way to Hammer creek, whereas today it crosses sooner.
Ah that explains and old account I found of a family travelling up the main train and accidentally going to Hammer Cabin. I want to follow that old route now starting off there the trail crosses the river near Big Log Camp. I've been busy exploring and abandoned section of the Dry Creek / Lebar trail. Found remains of an old shelter with a shake roof and a flat piece of metal with a hole for a chimney down on Lebar Creek.

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Pyrites
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PostSat May 30, 2020 3:33 pm 
Really! Does the shelter location match the old USGS topo?

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Bruce
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PostThu Jun 04, 2020 12:02 pm 
There is at least one old sign on that long gone trail Smith to Hammer

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Pyrites
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PostFri Jun 05, 2020 6:24 pm 
Sorry I was too obscure. I was referring to RRs discovery of long lost USFS shelter on S Fk Skok side of divide off Dry Creek trail.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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RPBrown
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PostSun Jun 21, 2020 7:16 pm 
Townsend Creek (North Fork of the Big River originally) might be one of the earlier trails as well. The initials and "1878" hammered in the rock even pre-dates O'Neil and the Press Party by quite a few years.

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jonreedna@yahoo.com
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PostThu Mar 23, 2023 7:02 pm 
Hello, I've been researching my family's homestead history and I came upon your article. My family has had a 129 acre property located on the Sol Duc River since my great grandmother acquired it in 1936, via the Homestead Act. She was a hardy gal and very entrepreneur oriented. She used to crevice mine out on the Washington coast and had a streak of luck in 1936. She purchased several properties all over the peninsula, including the Sappho store, lake ozzette lots, oil city lots, physt lots and waterfront lots in port angeles, but the pride of them all was our "Ranch", all 5 acre lots lined by the Sol Duc River to the north, forest service and state land surrounding the other boundaries. In 1979, my mother, who inherited 40+ of those acres, and step-dad decided to move to our property permanently. Due to an artesian spring that fed a 500 foot long creek that emptied into the Sol Duc river which maintained a year round temperature of 46F, we accepted a proposal from the Quileute Tribe to lease our creek to use as a rearing pond for coho salmon. (Washington state also made a proposal, but wanted to make one of their usual cement construction monstrosities and we chose the former deal. This allowed us to afford the price of installing electric utilities from hwy 101 in about one quarter mile and across the river. The Quileutes agreed to pay half of the 25k fee. So, we ended up collaborating with the Quileutes and even got to be the feeders of the fish. During the 20 year lease we also got to learn the history of the Quileutes and there relationship with our property and more. Here's what I know...for at least 500 years, the Quileute Tribe, each summer would send a fishing party up the river some 25 miles as a crow flies, to the beach directly across the river from our ranch. This gave them ancestral rights to utilize 'The Sweet Hole'. They could have just told us they were putting in a rearing pond but my parents had a working relationship with most of the tribes on the coast, my dad as a business manager for several years and my mom as a paralegal for the Quileutes, although initially as a secretary in the business administration portion when we moved permanently to the ranch. It's also known as 'The Big Hole' (and barking dog hole through the 80's and 90's) and it is the largest, deepest hole on the Sol Duc river. At our side of the river the hole is almost 20 ft. deep. It flows southerly down a rapid that comes around a bend very near hwy 101 at the Snyder Ranger station area and hits our giant shale and basalt wall that my house sits upon some 60 feet above the water and abruptly turns west to continue on through the rest of the ranch that is all still family owned by aunts, cousins, and siblings. The spruce division railroad, built hastily at the start of WWI to transport the spruce timber so perfect for the airplane construction during that war, ran straight through the middle of our property. The rails were gone by the time I was old enough to hike that wonderful piece of history, but my childhood memories are loaded with many walks on that right-of-way, picking up railroad spikes and fishplates and seeing the old ties and rails that were disguarded here and there along the line. We visited in the summers annually and sold our finds to an older man that would drive through each August and offer to by our scrap metal spikes and fishplates for 1 dollar each. It was always a competition on our outings. So back to the trail history, the Quileutes also knew of the hot springs further up the river valley, which is how Morritz came to purchase the site back at the turn of the century, circa 1880's. Another aspect of the trail that went through our property is the original homestead history of our property. It was originally formed also in the 1880s and that's where the history is sketchy. Originally, our side of the river was accessed by a giant tree that was worked into a foot bridge that stayed in place for several years until it finally was dislodged one raucous flood sometime after 1900s. Then, to access the ranch, the original homesteaders, two brothers who did the clearing of our homestead field, constructed a swinging foot bridge that had a gravel access road from hwy 101 across from Wisen Creek Road, just west of Snyder. History back was not well documented but we know that the brothers were the ancestors of the Olson family of the famed Olson's Resort in Sekui, WA. The gravel road across the river is believed to be the trail that the Quileutes traversed each summer. So...there that is. Aside from that, the only other info is a story my mom told about how when she was young, they lived at the original homestead field for a few years. She was born out there. She remembered that her dad, my grandfather would have to go looking for their 5-6 cows that would roam off every so often. He would be gone up the valley sometimes for several days and he would say that the cows went up to the upper field. In reality, it was his little 'vacation' away from the ever present 4 females, my grandmother and mother and her 2 sisters. He would buy a bottle of hooch, or two, lol, and go on walkabout and get that out if his system and then come home, happy as a clam, with the cows. We never did find the upper field, though.

Janet Hahn

Now I Fly, RichP, reststep, Seventy2002, zimmertr
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boomheist
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PostThu Mar 23, 2023 7:21 pm 
This is a great story, and thanks. We rented a place off Herrick Road on the Elwha a few times last couple years, built by a former Park ranger, and in that cabin was a history written by the granddaughter of the original settlers of that area, back in say the 1890s. I actually found the granddaughter, now living at a rest home in Port Angeles, and she had vivid memories fo the original settlers and their life back then at the edge of true wiklderness. It was her family that I believe built the trail to the Olympic Hot Springs, now called the West Elwha Trail, and I think it was based on an ancient tribal path from before.

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