Sunday, April 21, 2013

Airplane Canyon, epic trek to WWII plane crash site Willapa Hills

Learn more at about
 plane wrecks in
 the PNW in this
brand new book published
 last month:
"The Willapa Hills, rising to 3,110 feet above sea level, are part of the Coast Range. They are situated between the Olympic Mountains to the north and the Columbia River to the south. The Willapa Hills physiographic province includes the Black Hills, Doty Hills, and the adjacent broad valleys that open up to the Pacific Ocean. Barrier beaches characterize the low-lying coastline, behind which there are major estuaries such as Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay."

 33.5 miles round trip with about 4,000 feet elevation total gain in the Willapa hills (including false start and backtracking to find my GPS)

For my yearly totals I'll count half of this as hiking miles and I will
count all of the elevtation gain.

Getting started in the wrong spot 11.5 miles from the wreck at about 9:30
My gear not packed very well
Start of our route
Pretty stuff to see
Bridge to cross
******** Uh oh, this route is not going to work! ******

Switching to plan "B"

Plan "B"  New starting point 13 miles from the wreck at 11:20
Two hours lost to bad starting route and my dropping my GPS(r)



Jelly lichen on the road
More pushing but in the rain
More navigating but in the wind and rain and mud

After 20 miles of hiking and biking this turns out to be the easiest route up 4:45

200 feeet below the wreck
Found this mushroom in the clear cut forest on the way up to the wreck

At the crash site at last

Geocache 20,000 "Airplane Canyon"


We were surprised to find so much of the wreckage still up there

Pictures of the wreckage click to enlarge

Learn more at about plane wrecks in the PNW in this brand new book published last month:


Now we have get out of here, it's 5:30pm circle shows location of our bikes
Picking our way back down
Quick coffee break and change into dry socks at Cinabar Creek
Cinabar Creek
Up and down route for 13 miles to get back to the truck
Guess who had a front fender?
Mossy goodness on the way out
A welcome site after a 33.5 mile day 8:10pm

Our route including the false start but not including the 2.5 miles of backtracking to find my GPS after
it fell out of my around town bike basket

My fuel for this hike and bike
My shoes the day after
My bike the day after

Google Earth says we gained and lost over 4,000 feet!


ccorbridge said...

looks like a soggy but satisfying day!

Mossy Mom said...

Yes satisfying.. I'll never forget this hike.. Biking and hiking use slightly different muscles so I ache in different places today.

Unknown said...

Very cool. I grew up hiking the Willapa Hills further up the valley. I may have to try this hike. I've never head of that plane crash before.

Joe Hendricks said...

What an awesome adventure!!