Klahhane Ridge, Olympics WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

If you are talking to experienced Olympics hikers, you’ll very soon be talking about this rugged, interesting — very accessible — route.

The ridge is reached by a variety of hiking trails off of high Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park and offers spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In good weather.

Klahhane is a Chinook word meaning “outdoors.” It’s often misspelled. 🙂

Klahhane

I started from the Visitor’s Center up the Sunrise Trail. And followed the signs for Lake Angeles.

Sunrise

Soon I side tripped a mad scramble up Mt Angeles. Good fun.

The pretty trail winds steeply up and up.

steep trail

The roadway up to Hurricane falls away below.

Hurricane road

The higher you climb, the more rugged it gets.

rugged Klahhane

At points you must guess where the trail lies, under the snow. I took the chance to do some glissading.

snow

Klahhane is pretty. No doubt about it.

Klahhane pretty

I was sorry to see the climb end.

Rick Klahhane

Finally. A glimpse of Lake Angeles far below.

Angeles Lake

During the slippery, steep descent I fell once. Landing (correctly) on my backpack. No injury.

lake

I’m no real fan of mountain lakes, mainly because of mosquitoes. The flying mini-vampires of Lake Angeles were the first that had pestered me in 5 days.

But I’m happy to have tented there. For some reason the campground was overrun by mountain goats. Altogether we saw 8. Mothers with new born young.

mountain goats

I speculated that some predator might have driven them towards humans for protection … Bears and cougars don’t want to be anywhere near people if they can help it.

Just above was where the only hiker ever died from mountain goat attack. A slight cause for worry.

Next morning I strolled out of the mountains on a quiet old growth trail.

old growth

Jeni rescued me. After 5 days, 4 nights … I finally departed Olympic National Park.

Jeni

more photos

related – The Crossroad – Backpacking in Olympic National Park: Klahhane Ridge (2013)

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