By Bret Wirta
June 10, 2009
Distance 5.2 Miles Elevation Gain 3,000 feet
The Deer Ridge Trail in the Olympic National Forest is a 5.2 mile trail that gains almost 3,000 feet of altitude with most of the gain in the first two-thirds of the hike. It was a moderately strenuous beginning but the last third of the hike is in more level, high-meadow country, surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
I parked at the Slab Camp Trailhead at 6:15am. It was only a fifteen minute drive from the Quality Inn in Sequim. The weather was perfect, sunny and in the low fifties and the trail was dry. As I hiked through wild rhododendrons the trail turned upwards at thirty degrees and the trail remained steep for long periods of time during the first hour of hiking. There were a couple of knobs that gave me an excuse to take a breather and look out over the Gray Wolf River Valley and the snow-capped ridges beyond.