Olympic Natl Park: Up the Skyline Trail

A historic low snowpack allowed me to backpack to the top of the Skyline Ridge in Olympic National Park in June of 2015. The full Skyline / North Fork Quinault Loop is 45 miles and includes a section of very primitive trail. I chose to do a shorter version that gets to the high point, but then takes a cutoff trail down to the valley, thus bypassing the most difficult sections. My backpacking mileage was about 24 miles, with an additional 15 miles of dayhikes from camp.

Day 1 was the 11 mile backpack up the Three Prune campsite. Net gain was about 3000 feet but the trail got a few hundred feet higher before dropping down.

Trailhead: the first mile is on the Irely Lake Trail.

Early on I saw quite a few of these frogs

Through the rainforest

Three Lakes camping area (I only saw 1 lake), 7 miles up.

View from Three Lakes

Along the Skyline Trail to Three Prune, 4 miles further

Lots of beargrass blooms

Camp, really the only site, at Three Prune Creek

There were a lot of Oregon Junkos around camp, and a humming bird as well

The next day I dayhiked another 5+ miles one-way to near Kimta Peak, the high point on the trail

According to my GPS, this is Kimta Peak. I did not go there, but stayed on a neighboring rocky point with better views - and a trail to the top.

Olympic Mountains

Closeup of the Olympics and Mt. Olympus

Queets Valley

The Paradise Fire in the Queets Valley

Continue to the North Fork Quinault River