WA – Olympics – Colonel Bob, Temptations and Finales!

Since we were planning to be back by early afternoon, our goal was the Mulkey Shelter or a little beyond where one of today’s comrades had turned around a couple weeks previous when he hit a four foot bank of snow. 

Colonel Bob is a designated wilderness area within Olympic National Park. The Olympic Peninsula is a bit confusing as there is the Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, plus Indian Reservations and private lands.

Today’s weather fit my perceptions of the area. 

These are my hiking buddies, Jake and Ryan. So fun to share the trail especially on a day like this. 

The slugs were happy to see new rain. I’d never seen an albino slug before, have you?

Flowers were happy too.

No snow at the shelter . . . so let’s find snowline.

This display of Avalanche Lilies was my heaven. I could have sat in the trail and enjoyed this view all day. It was glorious walking maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile with these beauties lining the trail.

On our return, they’d turned their smiling faces upside down. 

First views . . . uh oh, it’s nearly 1pm . . . so much for a short 4-6 hour hike. But look, it’s clearing, Jake says “this ain’t nothing, wait til we get to the top.”

It’s such a small patch, we might as well keep going . . . 

It’s pretty easy walking and we’re not postholing, so might as well keep going. 

What’s a little stream crossing, our feet are already wet from the snow. 

There’s mile marker #7, time check 2pm. 

The sky clears enough for a tiny tease of a view and more motivation to keep going. 

Without any traction devices (since afterall we weren’t planning to snow hike), some places were a bit sketchy. Good thing we were all experienced in such conditions, and not easily intimidated. Admittedly I fell once, and needed assistance a couple of times.

And then we’re at the top. 

Ooohhh la la, these 360 degree views were worth every step. 

Thank you Jake and Ryan for this memory maker. It was a blast, made all the better by trail and weather conditions. 

We made it back to the trailhead at 6:30pm, a mere 9.5 hours after we’d started, oops.

Life is good when you’re climbing mountains. This was my swan song to the Olympic Peninsula. After 10 fantastic days of hiking and 12 days on the peninsula, it was time to say farewell for now. I’ll be back! 

Date(s) Hiked: 5/14/16

Road Trip Day(s) #85


Jan’s Tips:

  • There are two ways to access the Colonel Bob Trail. On this date, we used the Quinault trailhead. The shorter and more popular option is via Pete’s Creek.
  • According to my Trimble App this was a 14+ mile round trip hike with about 7,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. It ain’t for sissies 🙂
  • Camping is available at North Fork and Graves Creek Campgrounds, plus other USFS options along the south shore of Lake Quinault
  • Nearby trails to check out:
  • If you want to camp on trail, you’ll need a permit. Visit the Quinault Ranger Station for more information.
  • Nearest resupply is Forks.
  • Link to my other jaunts in Washington

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