hiking Obstruction, Olympics WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The famed 7.7mi road from the Visitor’s Center to Obstruction Point trailhead 6150ft (1875m) was CLOSED for 2013 due to budget cuts. Lucky us.

Visitors

A road’s a road.

But this CLOSED road is a wonderful ridge walk.

road

Non-stop magnificence.

Olympics

Once departed the Visitor’s Center at Hurricane Ridge, I saw only 3 other people over 2 days. Two of those were trail runners.

Starting late in the day, I decided to stop at an unofficial campground near the P.J. Lake Trail turnoff. A nice quiet spot but one without water. We’re too high here.

Next morning I arrived Obstruction Point Campground.

Campground?

It’s nothing but a parking lot with a toilet.

toilet

No water. But I found a nice snow melt runoff stream nearby. No mosquitoes. :-)

On the bright side, it was nice to stash pack with food in the biffy. Away from critters.

Ridge hiking out of Obstruction is unbelievable. I’ll let the photos prove my point.

deer

backpack

avalanche lilies

avalanche lilies

flowers

dusk

I made an afternoon scramble of Moose Peak, a highlight.

Ptarmagin must be the stupidest birds on the planet. How do they survive?

Ptarmigan

This dumb mother was doing a terrible job of protecting her new chicks.

chick

The only other hiker tenting at Obstruction that night was from Denmark. With the good weather report, he’d bought gear at REI and driven straight to Hurricane Ridge.

Denmark

Found himself in Heaven.

coffee

Next morning I enjoyed coffee with a superb vista.

I’d hoped to take the GRAND Ridge Trail in the direction of Deer Park. … But Rangers had warned that it was probably impassable without an ice ax.

Rick on Grand

Yep.

After making an attempt to climb over the steep snow. And under the steep snow. I gave up.

But I’ll be back. :-)

Rick

more photos

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