black and white mt olympus

Last weekend I had the good fortune to backpack the High Divide and Sol Duc River trail, enjoy an overnight at Lunch Lake and summit Bogachiel Peak for unobstructed views of Mount Olympus.

blueberries and heather

Along the trail blueberries, both low bush and high, grew everywhere and they were deliciously sweet. The high grew in the forest shade and the low in the umber heather hugging the ground. We feasted continuously on the hike, often contemplating if there had been any need to bring additional food.

joel eating lunch

I found the trail to be a little more strenuous than I was anticipating, probably from dehydration. Fortunately, with some breaks along the way, we made our destination.

setting sun at Lunch Lake setting sun

A quick swim in the lake and we were ready for dinner and sunset.

sunrise at Lunch Lake sunrise at Lunch Lake warm morning sun

The next morning I didn't get up as early as I had planned but I did manage to capture the morning sun. Unlike the trip to Marmot Pass, I didn't have to do any lengthy hiking from camp to take my morning photos.

marmot watching from it's perch

I've heard the Olympic marmots calling before but had never seen one — now I have! This guy was sunning on the rocks and let us get quite close before scurrying down the side of the rock pile. In my zeal to get the photograph, we ended up taking a side trail up Bogachiel which required a bit of scrambling, lucky for us we had ditched the big packs for the short summit.

view from Bogachiel Peak

The views from Bogachiel did not disappoint. It's difficult in this photo to get the perspective of our elevation above the lakes and the expanse of the Basin. On our descent from the High Divide we took a short rest along the trail, laid on our backs and watched the mountains — it was perfect.

piper's bell flower

And what's a trip without at least one flower photo? The most picturesque flowers of the entire trip were right after Heart Lake just as we had started back down the trail and I was too lazy to take the backpack off again — next year I'm heading straight there for the colorful flowers along the little creek.

In all we hiked almost 20 miles, ate pints and pints of blueberries and enjoyed a great weekend in the mountains. I'm anxious to go back next year with a bucket just like Sal's mom.

Categories: photography  travel 
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