Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dosewallips to Lake Quinault, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hiker: Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former CEO of REI 

executive summary by darmansjah

I first hiked this route at age 12 with a group of children and a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Black. My husband, daughter, and I did the hike two summers ago. The trail goes between a beautiful temperate rain forest and rhododendron grove near Hood Canal at sea level, through beautiful alpine meadows to the snowfields of Anderson Pass, and into Enchanted Valley—home to black bears and elk. It continues along rushing Graves Creek, flows into the Quinault River, and then pours into Lake Quinault. Be prepared for wildlife, wildflowers, history, serenity, and a comfortable, three-day backpack—with a bear canister for food, of course! —Sally Jewell


Length: 34 miles

Details: Few spots in the Lower 48 are as wild and isolated as Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Here, the Pacific slams into North America and the unrelenting weather keeps deep, wild rain forests and glacial peaks difficult to access. But this southern traverse of Olympic National Park is well worth the effort—and the extra waterproof/breathable gear—required to get a glimpse into the heart of the place.

The Enchanted Valley is an apt spot for the Secretary of the Interior to hold dear—it’s the type of pristine wilderness the National Park Service has been tasked with preserving. But it also offers a glimpse into history in the Enchanted Valley Chalet, a lodge from the 1930s that predated the designation of the park.
The untamed elements of the Olympics will often wash out the roads that get to its trailheads, so be sure to check road (and trail) conditions before you head out. Wilderness permits are required, too.

When to Go: It can rain anytime in the Olympics, but summer can be stunning. High-pressure systems in August and September make for glorious blue-sky days.

About Jewell: While American politics seem more partisan than ever, Sally Jewell pleases both sides of the aisle. The former CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) was quietly confirmed to the post of U.S. Secretary of the Interior by an overwhelming vote of 87 to 11 in the Senate this spring. Jewell has balanced experience in the oil and banking industries alongside conservation achievements that won her the National Audubon Society's Rachel Carson Award. One thing is for certain: Jewell plays hard in the wild—she's an experienced rock climber, mountaineer, skier, and paddler; in 2011 she made a trip up Antarctica’s Vinson Massif.



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