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Olympic National Park – planning for June 2015

I’ve enjoyed many great hikes on the Olympic Peninsula over the years. Weather is a huge factor. When it’s not raining, the Olympics are paradise. :-)

Here are a few of my photos from the past.

pack Olympic

wild flowers

deer Olympic

I’m planning to return June 22nd 2015.

I’ll decide when and where to hike based on the weather forecast. Plan A is to start with Cape Alava – Rialto Beach, the “Shipwreck Coast“. There are many other options, of course. :-)

Rialto Alava

Shipwreck Coast, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

I’m planning to do the Shipwreck end of June 2015. :-)

It’s 20 miles from Rialto Beach to the Lake Ozette Ranger Station. From Lake Ozette, you can tack on another 15 miles from the ranger station to Shi Shi Beach. …

… wind-and-wave-hammered, isolated, and strewn with massive logs and giant strands of kelp. All that makes it one of the most unique backpacking adventures in the lower 48: a wilderness beach hike untrammeled by resort homes and boardwalks. …

The beachscape, which is part of the 2,408-nautical-square-mile Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, is full of life and always changing: low tides expose tide pools filled with orange and purple stars, urchins, sea anemones, and other intercoastal life. …

National Geographic

Shipwreck

Lagunas Altas Trail, Patagonia Park, Chile

Conservación Patagónica is a conservation group whose mission is “to create national parks in Patagonia …

Founded in 2000 by Kristine Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, Inc, …

Patagonia Park

I was there near the beginning. Not much to see. A simple visitor centre. Great dreams. :-)

Patagonia Park is open for hiking now.

Backpacker magazineTomás Dinges Jan 2015 trip report:

My route on the 13.5-mile Lagunas Altas Trail (translation: high lagoons) would take me to the top of a 4,872-foot peak and along a chain of eight lakes high in the southeastern section of the 200,000-acre park. I was far from the dense rainforests of northern Patagonia, but not yet enveloped by the never-ending steppe common to Argentina and southern Chile. Marked with fluorescent ribbons and colored rebar, the trail, like much of the park, was a work in progress. …

“You are walking around a park that you have to yourself,” said McDivitt-Tompkins, founder and president of Conservación Patagonica, the nonprofit organization created to oversee the park’s development. “Just imagine what John Muir felt when he was in Yosemite before it was Yosemite. You are in a place before anybody goes.” …

After 4.5 hours and 3,780-feet of climbing along the Lagunas Altas Trail, I emerged above treeline and onto the bald peak of Cerro Tamanguito. To the north stood the glaciated peaks and snowfields of the Jeinimeni Mountains. Below me were the distinct yellow and coffee-brown landscapes of the Chacabuco Valley I had hiked through. …

Chacabuco Valley

Chacabuco Valley

Applying the U.S. national park model, Conservación Patagonica has developed two campgrounds (with 60 tent sites and eight cook shelters), a lodge, a restaurant, and a new visitor center that’s scheduled to open in early 2015. There are six trails in place, totaling some 77 miles, and crews are busy planning and cutting more every day.

By 2020, Conservación Patagonica hopes to hand the land to the Chilean government to connect the now-separate operations of icy Jeinimeni and forested Tamango and privately held Patagonia Park to create a 610,000-acre Patagonia National Park, a preserve larger than our Great Smoky Mountains National Park. …

First Tracks in Chile’s New Patagonia Park

We’ve added the Lagunas Altas Trail to our list of the best hikes in South America.