The Dosewallips Region of Olympic National Park
The Dosewallips region of Olympic National Park encompasses the middle/eastern section of the Olympic Range. Dissecting this area are the two main forks of the Dosewallips River; the main fork Dosewallips River(coming in from the northwest), and the West Fork Dosewallips River(coming from the west on the Anderson Massif). In between these two rivers is the sizable drainage of Silt Creek, which cuts a steep valley roughly between the Anderson Massif/Diamond Mountain group and Thousand Acre Meadow/Wellesley Peak group.
Though this area has become more and more popular with hikers in the last few decades, there still are many areas of remote beauty to be explored. Many of the mountains in this region range from simple scrambles to more technical rock or ice climbs. However, there is enough of a variety of climbing to be found that hikers of varying skill can feel challenged.
The northern edges of the Dosewallips Region are drier, and the rock tends to be more loose and fragile. While on the southern edges the meadows and slopes are more lush, and rock tends to be somewhat more sound. Both rivers are fed by the glacier-clad summits of the Anderson Massif, which happens to be the hydrographic center of Olympic National Park.
Main Fork Dosewallips RiverThe main fork of the Dosewallips River covers a much larger section of the Olympic Range, and it is my own personal favorite area of the whole National Park. It is dominated on the north by dry, high, open ridge lines that lead to craggy summits and bulky massifs, such as Peak 7060 and Mt Deception/Mystery. To the south is the Wellesley Peak/Thousand Acre expanse that basically runs east to west towards Hayden Pass.
The major peaks along the upper reaches of the main fork Dosewallips are (from east to northwest) Wellesley Peak, West Wellesley Peak, Sentinel Peak, Lost Peak, Mt Fromme, and Mt Claywood. Sentinel's Sister can also be considered in this group, as it is a very close neighbor of Sentinel Peak. Most of these peaks are very moderate climbs, with Wellesley Peak being the most difficult of the group to summit.
The river bends from north to west around Piro's Spire and Wellesley Peak, and it climbs up into a beautiful alpine setting of meadows and streams at Dose Meadows. Several major Olympic passes can be reached along the upper reaches of the main fork Dosewallips River, including Gray Wolf, Hayden, and Lost passes. Thousand Acre Meadow, a vast expanse of alpine land, takes up much of the southern area of the head of the Dosewallips valley.
During the peak of summer, usually around late July-August, there is an abundance of wildflowers that bloom along the open south faces of the ridges and passes above the valley. The display of avalanche lilies is especially stunning when viewed at Hayden or Lost passes. Millions upon millions of these white beauties showcase just how incredible the upper reaches of this valley are. One can also view the Olympic Marmot grazing on the lilies during the long summer days.
Another bonus of the main fork Dosewallips River is the plethora of great campsites along the way. Starting at Burdick Creek there are good spots available along the trail about every 2-3 miles up to Dose Meadows. Deception Creek offers one of the last campsites in pure forest, while Bear Camp offers the first site with a mix of views and forest.
West Fork Dosewallips River
Waterfalls and Creeks of the Dosewallips
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