Sleepy Hollow – Poor little Cinderella of a trail

Sleepy Hollow

Daniel Collins



It was a solid 8AM downpour and my hooded and hard-hat-ed hiking companions with shadowy faces showed the look of a long winter but I wasn’t about to scuttle the planning behind this trip – after all we’re on a scouting mission!

We drove the recently re-graveled FS 28 – careful on the corners – it’s very soft. The drive was approx. 45 minutes to Bon Jon Pass where the rain stopped than 5 minutes to the Mt Zion Trail Head. We made off down trail scouting trail work for youth crews – the Quilcene Ranger Corps and the SKY crew of Jefferson County. The timing couldn’t have been better, just after heavy rain, trails reveal their drainage issues.

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Sol Duc Falls Loop Hike

Story by Becca Wirta

Photos and video by Bret Wirta

Distance: 6 mile round-trip – Time out: 4 hours

Degree of Difficulty: 1 – Pet Friendly: No

June 13th 2012

Sol Duc Falls Hike

Threatening clouds floated overhead as my boyfriend Patrick, my father Bret, and I embarked on our day hike in the Olympic National Park. We had chosen a manageable six mile loop starting and ending at the historic Sol Duc hot springs which lead us past beautiful Sol Duc Falls. Luckily, as we pulled up to the parking lot in front of the Sol Duc lodge the clouds broke and the sun peered through. Taking this as a positive sign, we started our trek. The three of us told stories, shared college gossip, and enjoyed our lush green surroundings. The terrain was mostly flat and the trail was well kept. We hiked through the scenic Sol Duc Camp Ground. Enormous trees shaded the campground and campsites were available by the river. My younger brother, Garrett, and I would have thoroughly enjoyed camping and playing in the river there when we were children.

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Madison Falls Path and Picnic

By Bret Wirta-The Incidental Explorer

Distance: Few hundred yards – Time out: Pretty short

Degree of Difficulty: 0 – Pet Friendly: Yes

June 11th 2012.

Plenty of places to picnic

Plenty of places to picnic

If you are looking for an outing that combines a wheelchair access path, picnic area and a beautiful waterfall then Madison Falls in Olympic National Park is hard to beat. My elderly Mom was visiting us and she doesn’t walk much so this path was perfect. We began our outing with a picnic at the trailhead. There were plenty of tables in the green meadow. The Elwha River tumbled just across the road from us. My Mom, my daughter, her boyfriend and I enjoyed our repast in the sunshine.

The path to the falls is paved and though steeper in places then the ADA ramps at our hotel, Olympic National Park lists the path as wheel chair accessible. It was a warm and sunny day but was cool under the leafy canopy. Hardwoods ringed the edge of the field which gave way to firs and cedars as we walked closer to the falls.

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Dodger Point Legacy

By Chris Scranton

Editor’s Note: This wonderful story was an entry in the 2011 Celebrate Elwha! writers contest. All of us at hope that Chris had a wonderful 40th consecutive year at Dodger Point this summer!

Trail below Dodger Point Lookout

Trail below Dodger Point Lookout

Mount Olympus and the Bailey Range loomed through the fog to the west and Hurricane Ridge appeared to the north across the Elwha Valley. Everywhere I looked mountains appeared through the clouds. It was obvious that I was not in New Jersey any more.

In 1973 I graduated from high school in New Jersey and hitch hiked out to Olympic National Park where the late Jack Nattinger had hired me as a fire control aid at Lake Crescent. I was very excited to explore the park and wondered where I should hike on my first days off. Ranger Jack Hughes suggested that I hike to Dodger Point. With two days off, I shouldered my pack at Whiskey Bend and headed up the Elwha and the Long Ridge trail. 13.5 miles later in a summer hail storm I climbed the last steep incline to the point and approached the old fire lookout cold and wet.

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Backpacking the Dungeness

June 1, 2012

Heather Grev

Upper Dungeness to Boulder

Upper Dungeness to Boulder

Brian and I used the Memorial Day weekend to take a wee little backpacking adventure. I know usually when we go on outings like this, I just post pictures, but I’m going to try an be better about documenting the fun.

This time of year, it’s really hard for us to find suitable trails. Most the great stuff is still under snow. We also have to avoid the National Park areas, because we want to bring our big ole mutts along and that’s a big no-no in the National Parks. Add to all of that the personal mission for both of us to keep on discovering new places to go hiking and avoid repeating trails…

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