Glaciers still survive on Mount Olympus, but fast melting has certainly affected the area.
Normally at this time of year, this vast ridge is snow-covered. We enjoyed the scenery and the beautiful drive up to Hurricane Ridge even so. Olympic National Park has a fantastic film about the flora and fauna, the rainforest aspects, the water shed and natures balance. Once neglected, “…nuthin’ up there but stunted trees…” made it possible to save species known to exist only here, the marmot is one. Unfortunately, people have introduced invasive species, the natural predator, the wolf is gone, black bears are gone and deer have to be thinned. Maybe someday, the predators can be reintroduced.
Two major paved trails, Hurricane Hill and The Meadow were available. We chose the Hurricane Hill trail, from which you can see Vancouver and the entire sound. We got to within an hour and a half of the top before it got too steep for us. There are many trails, unpaved, off the two main ones for avid hikers and back packers. And, many deer. We met this one on the trail walking toward us, quite unafraid.
…and returned to the path behind us.
As we hiked, the mountain to our right as we climbed, is a mountain that gets less rain on its western slope.
I spotted a Christmas tree. It looked as though someone took the time to add silvery glitter to the top of the tree. It sparkled in the sun. Could it be ice? Or…?
A close up reveals the source. It is sap. We noticed this sap on several trees after this one.
As we hiked in a strong breeze, we noticed the wind sculptured trees. We warmed and I peeled my hooded sweatshirt off and wrapped it around my waist.
This lone alpine blue bell was on its last bright show.
It was a beautiful day to visit. We enjoyed a little over four hours at the park. If you go, bring plenty of water and a picnic lunch.
As we drove away, we saw another herd of deer along the road. Several are out of sight in the bushes. If you want to see all of my pictures, click on the link below.
2014-9-8-Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge