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hiking the Olympic Coast

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hiking the Olympic Coast

Postby blueshade » Sun May 02, 2010 7:02 pm

I will be hiking the Olympic Coast in June and was wondering how much ground a strong hiker can realistically cover - assuming you're good at timing the tides and are willing to put in long days. The NP website says 10 miles/day even for strong hikers but I'd like to know how accurate that is. Thanks!

Planning on going ~June 22-25, company would be welcome if personalities match.... likely planning on early mornings (due to tides) and long days.
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Postby Mountainjeff » Sun May 02, 2010 9:12 pm

It depends on how lite you can pack, but 10 miles a day sounds pretty accurate. I haven't known anyone to do much better than that. Sand makes for pretty slow hiking.
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Postby Dan Shorb » Mon May 03, 2010 4:05 am

Mountainjeff wrote:Sand makes for pretty slow hiking.


Word, and tides will impede you at some point, but long days were how we did it one time, and it worked out well. I forget the mileage/day.

7 of 9 days were rain in early june. And we saw a whole beach of huge logs become a writhing mass of crashing and bouncing tidal debris one time H@LY $#!T.
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Postby billisfree » Mon May 03, 2010 4:36 am

A bunch of us office guys... 12 in all... made a 20-mile hike in two days. From La Push to Ozette.

Half started at the north end, half at the south end... we met half way, camped and exchanged car keys.

Sand ain't too bad... just pick the ideal path... not too far from the surf, not to close to the surf where you think sand is firmest. There are a number of rocky stretches where wet rocks must be trod with care. Ocassionally an unexpected slippery rock is encountered. Just be careful. Expect to have a couple of falls on these rocks.

There were two stretches where the tide was in, couldn't go around a rocky outcropping. Yet we did fine, hacking into the dense woods and climbing over short hills.

And yes... it was a little rainy.

But a GREAT hike! Go for it!
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue May 04, 2010 1:29 am

OMG you are going to have a great time. That place is magnificent. I wish I could join you. Please post photos when you return.
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Re: hiking the Olympic Coast

Postby Sunny Buns » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:01 am

Make sure you have a tide table and the Olympic Coastal Strip map that gives the max tide height that you can get around the headlands. Some of the trails over the headlands are steep so if you have a heavy pack they can be challenging especially if wet - some have ropes you can hang onto to prevent a nasty fall.

There are logging roads about 1/2 mile or so inland that run parallel to the beach in some places. I think the Olympic Coastal Strip map shows some of the roads that parallel the beach in case you need to use them for some reason. The loggers on those roads know where the trails are down to the beaches, etc.

I'd change my dates to late July or early August. It will never be really hot on the coast, but June could be wet. June might be OK, but late July/early August have much better odds of warm and dry.

There is always spray coming off the ocean that will coat your optics, so use a filter on your camera lens if possible.

At night you may encounter racoons trying to get into your food. If they start figthing it's noisy.

It's an awesome place - enjoy!
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