Elwha River from Whiskey Bend
05/24/13 - 05/26/13
Richard L. Lambe
The trail follows part of the 1889-1890 Press Expedition route along the Elwha River in Olympic National Park. That expedition took six months to cross the Olympic Mountains, but one can travel about a third of their route in 3 days. Highlights of the trip include river views, rain forest, and historical cabins. During the last section of the drive to the trailhead will pass the recently removed Elwha River dams. On day 1, hike about 9 miles along the river, gaining about 1,000’. Can camp at Mary’s Falls Camp overlooking the falls. On day two, can day hike further along the river (leaving our tent and overnight gear behind); perhaps to historic Remanns Cabin (about 8 miles round trip), or further as the group decides. On day three, hike 9 miles back to our cars.
On day 1, we will hike about 9 miles along the river, gaining about 1,000’. We will plan to camp at Mary’s Falls Camp overlooking the falls. On day two, we will day hike further along the river (leaving our tent and overnight gear behind); perhaps to historic Remanns Cabin (about 8 miles round trip), or further as the group decides. On day three, we will hike 9 miles back to our cars. Maps: Green Trails – Elwha North/Hurricane Ridge No. 134S, Custom Correct Elwha Valley. You can also locate and print USGS topo maps online for free – see http://www.mountaineers.org/foothills/hiking/docs/how_to_print_usgs_maps_for_free.html Backpacking Washington (Mountaineers Press); 100 Hikes in the South Cascades and Olympics (Mountaineers Press). Leader permission is required, which you can obtain by sending an e-mail to the leader at email@example.com Prior backpacking experience is not required, but you should be able to hike 10 miles in a day at 1.5 – 2 miles per hour with your loaded backpack. Lightweight backpacking is encouraged. Generally, your backpack (with food and water) should weigh 35 pounds or less. I expect low overnight temperatures will be in the 40s. You should check the current weather report shortly before departure: http://www.findlocalweather.com/pinpoint/us/wa/elwha+river+trail/current576434.html Since this is a rain forest trip, rain should be expected, and you should bring rain coat, rain pants, and pack cover and clothes that will keep you warm when wet (no cotton!). The trip is subject to change or cancellation if the predicted weather is unusually poor. Other gear notes: 1. Our campsite has bear wires, so no bear cans are required. Bring a stuff sack to hang your food (no plastic grocery bags, please). You should not use the stuff sack from your clothes, tent or sleeping bag for your food. 2. You should bring some method of water purification. 3. Bugs are certainly possible; bring bug repellant. 4. To reduce pack weight, you should consider sharing gear, especially stoves, cooking pots, water filters, and tents. About 1 week before the trip, I will send an E-mail to all. If you are interested in sharing any items, Reply All to this E-mail, describing gear you would like to provide for sharing or if you are interested in sharing another’s gear. Sharers should make arrangements directly with any interested people. Carpooling will be encouraged, and arranged about 1 week before departure. Backcountry permit from Olympic National Park, which we will obtain when we arrive at the Park. Entrance fee required to the Park. Note: while this trip is open to all club members, the focus of the trip will be instructional as it is also part of the Foothills Branch B3 Backpacking Series.