On June 18th, 2018, Deer Park, one of the prettiest ridges in Olympic National Park, has reopened for hiking, driving and camping! The information was verified the morning of June 18th, by a tweet directly to us from Olympic National Park.
Deer Park, located 14.5 miles east of Hurricane Ridge, is known for stunning views and incredible hiking, as well as being one of the best accessible destinations to star gaze. Deer Park rests in the Olympic Rainshadow, allowing for a windswept ridge that often has some of the best weather in Western Washington. With 14 campsites facing away from the lights of Sequim, Victoria and the other towns of the Salish Sea, Deer Park makes for the ideal destination for those looking for epic views and stunning experiences a mile above the sea.
On June 12th, 2018, Olympic National Park opened the entirety of Obstruction Point Road! This amazingly scenic and stunning eight mile dirt road from Hurricane Ridge to Obstruction Point allows vehicles to travel along the remote ridge from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Area. The final five miles opened quietly on the morning of the 12th, after a few weeks of access to the Waterhole area was granted to visitors of Washington State’s favorite National Park. In typical Olympic National Park fashion, the news was not announced via Press Release like every other Park in the United States.
Almost road trip time! Your hosts are discussing plans for their trip down to Tahoe for the Broken Arrow Sky Race. Doug also gives a detailed play-by-play of his recent crash on the trails where he tripped downhills and fell flat on his face. Glad he’s okay! This is a great time to remind everyone of the importance of bringing your “10 Essentials” and proper protection when heading onto the trails. Be safe out there, guys!
With less than two weeks to their first big race of the season Douglas and Mathias compare final notes and training runs thus far. When will tapering begin, what are their plans for nutrition on race day, and what shoes will they be wearing?
Also: A first look at some planned adventures in the mountains once the final snow is melted and they are fully recovered from their race in Tahoe.
Douglas takes a road trip to Badlands National Park and Mathias wakes up early to run up Mt. Rose, twice – finally. Training for Broken Arrow is going well for the both of them and they are pushing themselves to keep up their mileage and elevation goals. Mathias bought new shoes – thank you REI anniversary sale, and Douglas has holes in his running socks.
On the afternoon of May 22nd, 2018, a press release sent out by Mount Rainier National Park reached the inboxes of journalists and Mount Rainier enthusiasts, telling us that cell service would soon be added to the Paradise region of the park. Within minutes, the news spread like a wildfire throughout social media, primarily places frequented by the old guard, Pacific Northwest hiking community. The announcement by the park was met by angry hyperbole, as many outdoor enthusiasts around the region claimed wilderness was now lost for good at Mount Rainier. This is not the case at all. In fact, this is great news for visitors to the park.
Hungry as always Mathias and Douglas continue to dig into their training routine leading up to their next big race: Broken Arrow Skyrace at Lake Tahoe. They discuss diners in middle America, the best use of poles while attacking hills and why trail running is vastly superior to city marathons.
We have all seen the headlines telling us that National Parks are being loved to death. Around the country, this headline is the clickbait of the day for outdoors sections of newspapers and bloggers. Headlined by pictures of crowds on our Public Lands, the articles all read the same; one way or another always blaming the influx of visitors. While these stories do have a slight degree of fact to them, the bottom line is that National Parks are not being loved to death. Plain and simple, our parks have not matched the growing desire and demand for nature experiences with our growing population.
Some summits don’t need to be extreme to be breathtaking. While many of the world’s most stunning peaks stand alone, easily reaching heights of well over 12,000 feet above sea level, the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula are comparatively low-key and mellow. One of the classic mountains to climb, offering unrivaled views of the Puget Sound, Salish Sea and the Olympic Interior is the ever-popular, always beautiful, Mount Townsend.
In this week’s fine installment of our audio experience Douglas and Mathias are in full on nostaglic mood. For the anniversary of their epic run of the fabled R2R2R route at the Grand Canyon they remember the good times, and laugh about the bad ones too. Do you hear that Phantom Ranch, do you, do you?
The mountain goats of the Olympic Mountains have been called everything from inspiring, to infamous and invasive, and each of these terms are correct. Bounding across the scree-fields and jagged peaks of the mountains in and around Olympic National Park and Forest, the mountain goats of Olympic National Park and Forest have become a highlight for hikers in the high country, but that will soon change. If all goes to plan, there will be no mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula in just a few years.
Often, visitors who explore our National Parks and other public lands are hurried and rushed. The sheer size and scale of the gorgeous stretches of wilderness are too much to see in a day, weekend or even a week. That is why, whenever I have an extra afternoon, I try to find a peak to summit or a trail that leads to a lesser known viewpoint. One of those places in Olympic National Park and Forest is the rugged, wild and wonderful summit of Colonel Bob peak, high above the Quinault Rainforest.
Yellowstone National Park officials are reporting that on May 1st, 2018, a woman was butted in the thigh, pushed, and tossed off a trail by a bison in the Old Faithful area. As usual, a quasi-panic ensued by click-hungry newspapers and bloggers around the country. I mean, we are even writing a post. However, we are trying to not get caught up in typical fear mongering, which tends to happen after animal incidents in Yellowstone, we are instead sticking to trying to prevent any more incidents.
The value of Olympic National Park on residents and visitors to Washington State and the Olympic Peninsula is amazing. The 8th most-visited National Park in America, which has rainforests, mountains and wild coastlines, inspires wanderlust and a connection to nature, and fuels an entire regions economy. In the once depressed logging counties around the Olympic Peninsula, where jobs vanished faster than spotted owls, a thriving economy is emerging, fueled by wilderness and tourism. While the tourism industry is showing that it can take root in the region as a major industry, the news isn’t all blooming rhododendrons.
The seemingly never-ending wetness from the winter of 2017-18 has finally ended. We welcome warm temperatures, clear skies and the strange yellow orb glowing in the sky. With the change in the weather, signs of life are returning to the Pacific Northwest. While above average snow still sits on the mountains, spring has sprung in full force in the lower elevations. All along trails in majestic river valleys, trillium are popping up and wildflower seasons seems to be just around the corner. The warmer days also mean that larger animals who hibernate and/or become lethargic in the winter are starting to wake up. Black bears were reported to be active around Olympic National Park and Forest, letting us know that winter is officially over. It is starting to be bear season out on the trails of Olympic National Park, so hikers need to start being loud on the trails and making sure they continue to follow Leave No Trace and Wildlife Watching rules and regulations.
Once the final, heavy snows of spring fall on Yellowstone, the desolate, tundra-like terrain of America’s first National Park starts to transform into a visual wonderland of awesomeness. If you haven’t yet seen this majestic park during the spring months, you are missing out on one of the most unique experiences in America.