Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday Drive

Our Sunday drive is not my Grandparents Sunday drive. We always head for wilderness and the Olympic National Forest. I've been wanting to drive over the divide between the Satsop and Skokomish basins. We did not make it, there was snow at 2700 feet and the higher we went the deeper it got. We had to reach 3,400 feet to go over the divide. I'm all for testing out my new snow tires but not on a logging road where one small skid could mean death! The snow was getting deeper and the chasm on either side of the road was getting bigger and of course the road was getting narrower.

We had a good time in spite of not making our goal. I got out of my car at Spider lake and went for a little walk in the Climax old growth forest lining the lake. I was far too ill to contemplate walking the entire lake shore. The lake shore loop is is only 2 mile but I think I've got the flu. At this point I just hope I can hike again before the year is over.

Spider Lake, Lower Lena Lake, Jefferson Lake and Lower Dry Bed Lake may have all been formed by the same earthquake. (Schuster et all, 1992)

The short section of the Spider lake trail that I walked has a lot of storm damage. Multiple trees across the trail and the trail is washed out in places. The plastic sheet underlying the trail is exposed. I started on the little unmarked access on the North end of the lake and then took the left route when I reached the loop trail. I turned around at the first bridge. The bridge is in good shape.

We checked out Browns Creek Campground on the way home and I am happy to report that the campground was not damaged during the storm.  I don't know if the Nature Trail was damaged.

Forest Service Sheet:
Spider Lake Trail # 879
Hood Canal Ranger District - Quilcene Office
295142 Highway 101 S. P.O. Box 280
Quilcene, WA 98376 (360) 765-2200

ACCESS: Located northwest of Shelton in the
Skokomish River Recreation Area. Travel US
Highway 101 to the Skokomish Valley Road, (7
mi. north of Shelton, 7 mi. south of Hoodsport).
Turn west on the Valley road and drive about 5.5
miles to the junction with FS Road #23. Turn
right and proceed for 10 miles on FS Road #23
to the junction of FS Road #2353. Veer left and
continue on FS Road #23 (end of pavement)
another 8 miles to the Spider Lake Trailhead.
FACILITIES: Enter trail from either the North
or South end of lake.

NOTE: The trail and lake
might not be signed, look for Spider Lake below
the FS Road #23 on the east side of the road.
There is no toilet or potable water at the

SETTING: This trail loops around Spider Lake
through old growth forest. Lush plants along trail.

TRAIL INFORMATION: This trail receives
yearly maintenance and is in good condition.
Destination Miles Elev.
Trailhead 0.0 1,700’
Loop around lake and back to
1.9 1,700’

PASS NOT REQUIRED: A Northwest Forest
Pass is NOT REQUIRED at this trailhead.
Spider Lake
Trail #879

Prehistoric Rock Avalanches in the Olympic Mountains, Washington (in Reports; Ancient Earthquake)
Robert L. Schuster; Robert L. Logan; Patrick T. Pringle
Science, New Series, Vol. 258, No. 5088. (Dec. 4, 1992), pp. 1620-1621.
Stable URL

Abstract: Rock avalanches blocked streams in the Olympic Mountains southwest of Puget Sound during the past few thousand years. Limiting radiocarbon ages indicated that three or four of six avalanches occurred from 1000 to 1300 years ago or shortly thereafter. Most of the dates were from the outer preserved rings of trees drowned behind avalanche dams. These three or four avalanches may be coeval not only with one another but also with abrupt tectonic deformation in western Washington. No rock avalanches in the Olympic Mountains are known to have resulted from storms or earthquakes during the past century. The avalanches strengthen the case that a large prehistoric earthquake occurred in the Puget Sound region.

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