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Home Go Hiking Trip Reports Happy Lake Ridge #58,Barnes Creek #48,Marymere Falls #50,Aurora Ridge #46,Boulder Lake #57,Aurora Divide #59

Trip Report

Marymere Falls, Happy Lake Ridge

Olympic Peninsula

Trip Report By

Hiked Sep 3, 2004

Type of Hike

Day hike
Took a Clallam Transit bus from Port Angeles to Lake Crescent Saturday AM in the mist and set out from Storm King RS at Barnes Point on Lake Crescent up the trail to Marymere Falls, a spectacular high cascade with viewing platforms that must be absolutely awe inspiring in April, then back to the junction with the Barnes Creek trail for the worst mile of ups and downs of the whole trip, to the ford, which was not any real problem. Barnes Creek trail offers solitude without much effort other than the ford until the junction with the Aurora Divide trail, which I expected to be a killer just because of the steepness of Auora Ridge, but it is so well graded that getting there is a real pleasure, past a big camp at Dimal Draw, then views out over Barnes creek and another nice camp along the trail below some tarns before the crest of the ridge. By the time I reached the crest the fog was impenetrable, making for spooky hiking, particularly when the blueberries and huckleberries began apearing at the same time as the bear scat. After a quick peak a little way down the Aurora Ridge trail, I pushed through eerie cloud shrouded silver forests another mile or so to a likely spot trailside in some woods on Lizard Head Peak near a potential viewpoint in case the fog lifted. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear with barely a cloud, and I got a look at the viewpoint I'd camped near-- North Fork Soleduck valley west, Barnes Creek drainage east and north. I pushed down the trail a mile to a fork-- Happy Lake, where may Sunday camping permit was for left, Boulder Lake right. I set off right, and was rewarded by the last of the solitude and beautiful wild meadows, gigantic and beautiful mushrooms, lonesome half wooded vistas of Mt. Appleton, Mt. Carrie, and Mt. Olympus, before the drop into well inhabited Boulder Lake, where I hauled my big pack up a bear wire and set off with my day pack toward the summit, where I never got, but I did make it to the ridge and views down into Three Horse Lakes basin and a handsome view of the backside of Mt. Appleton. With my big pack back on my back where it belongs I climbed back up to the trail junction and set off for Happy Lake, along the up and down Hapy Lake Ridge trail, passing a horde of screaming kids who'd climbed up the steep east end the day before. With surprisingly few views for a ridge trail I eventually arrived at Happy Lake, and seeing that it was on the north (non-scenic) side of the ridge, almost bailed out in favor of a spot up high, but instead dropped, and dropped, the half mile to the lake, which lies beneath a handsome mountain, but was at low water and surrounded by six feet of mire most of the way around. The basin looks wild enough, but I saw no wildlife. The return trip after a surprisingly frosty night's sleep was the best part of the trip, first going through some wild and gorgeous meadows with views back over the spit at port Angeles and out to Mt. Baker, then a great viewpoint into the interior, with a flat wooded area nearby making it a suitable spot for catching sunrise and sunset action over the Olympics, with water from Happy Lake to drink. Thanks to the two guys who bushwhacked from Bouldr Lake to Appleton Pass via Three horse Basin for the ride back to ""civilization"", and to the good people at Thortown hostel for their kindness.

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