One of my O-gang shipmates expressed an interest in doing a "longer" hike this weekend. We put the invitation out to the rest of the wardroom and ended up with a group of four of us plus one spouse heading out to Olympic National Park. We offered up a small sum of cash to get someone to drop us off at one end and pick us up at the other, and it worked out really well.
First we drove up to the Hurricane Ridge visitor's center. I stamped my National Park passport there. I've also been using the National Park stamp on the pages of the day hike guide book to show when I've done each hike. We used the facilities there and then headed out on the 7.5 mile dirt and gravel bumpy Obstruction Point Road.
Obstruction Point Road
I was surprised how many cars and people there were at the Obstruction Point trailhead. There were probably a dozen cars in the parking lot and several people loading up their backpacks. Apparently we weren't the only ones who thought this was a rare opportunity to get out on this trail that isn't accessible for a large part of the year.
Although there were many small mountain wildflowers above the treeline, descending below the treeline brought a whole new slew of flowers.
Mushrooms (I don't have any clue on identifying these yet).
My previous Garmin Forerunner 405 had died (battery wouldn't charge) and I had to send it back to Garmin to get it refurbished. That's why my last several hikes didn't have this Garmin Connect map below. This was my first hike out with the newly refurbished Forerunner. The Garmin Connect page allows you to download the trek in XML and view it in Google Earth. It's pretty cool to follow the path we took in a birds-eye view angled down to see the elevation dropping off on either side of the ridge.
- Date: 15 September 2012
- Time of Departure: Met up with our group in the Kitsap Mall parking lot and headed out shortly after 8 a.m. Arrived at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor's Center to use the restrooms and check out the view at 10 a.m. on the nose. Departed the Obstruction Point trail head about 10:43 a.m.
- Time of Return: 2:59 p.m. back in car at Deer Park trailhead. Made a stop at the 101 Diner for milkshakes and arrived home about 5:15 p.m.
- Elapsed: 4 hours 13 minutes
- Moving Time (GPS): 3 hours 5 minutes
- Stopped Time (GPS): 1 hour 8 minutes
- Mileage (GPS): 7.6 miles
- Avg Speed (GPS): 1.8 mph
- Elevation Gain: 1,266 feet gained / 2,149 feet lost
- Max Elevation: 6,657 feet
- Weather: Clear and sunny.
- Winds: 2-5 mph SW.
- Air Temp: 57F at the Obstruction Point trailhead climbing to 60F at the Deer Park Ranger Station. I was comfortable in a long-sleeve t-shirt and shorts except I got a little chilly during some windy parts on top of the ridge.
- Trail: Well-defined hard-pack dirt or gravel trail. Some along the side of pretty steep and slippery slopes. No trail markers, and there were a few spots where there were forks in the trail, but they were labeled with signs.
- Crowds? Not crowded, but not alone. There were about a dozen cars parked at the Obstruction Point trail head. We passed well over a dozen people along the way going in both directions.
- Hazards? Some steep
dropoffs. No sources of water. I've heard to beware the mountain goats that can be
aggressive in ONP, but we didn't see or hear of any.
- Geocaches? Didn't bother looking - assumed there were none because it's a National Park.
- Kit: Long sleeve T-shirt, shorts, new Merrell Moab Gortex hiking boots, flop hat, walking stick.
- Route: Followed the path of hike #9 in the Best Easy Day Hikes: Olympic National Park book. Started at the Obstruction Point trailhead and ended at the Deer Park trailhead. Had a shipmate drop us off at one end, drive around and pick us up at the other end.
- Facilities: There was a privy at the Obstruction Point trailhead and a privy at the Deer Park trailhead, but nothing in between. There are no sources of water along this trail.