steep mountainside forest high above the elwha

I went on a surprisingly nice walk today, above the Elwha River (the Olympic Peninsula). I have a feeling the Griff Creek Trail may become a wintertime tradition for me, it’s a really great little view hike! While Seattle was blanketed by fog and gloom (even the Strait of Juan de Fuca was sleepy under the clouds) I got up high in the sunshine. Thought I’d share a quick picture before I go to bed tonight, I’m pooped! After a month when it always seemed like one of the boys was sick and I got practically no exercise, this hike was a bit taxing. I ended up gaining over 3,000 feet of elevation (I continued past the official end of the trail for extra views). And there was a lot of crawling over and ducking underneath fallen logs through the magnificent forested mountainside. I felt wonderful most all morning long in the cold- it made the steep hike feel dramatically easier than it would’ve been on a warm day. But at one point toward the top it did occur to me gee whiz, I’m starting to feel a little out of gas!  

There are really nice peekaboo views along the hike of the Elwha River Valley below and then you can get some real big whoppers if you venture beyond the official conclusion of the maintained trail, but what I might’ve enjoyed equally as much was the forest hiking. Lots of steep sidehill traversing toward the top. I love that kind of terrain! I might even re-do this hike in the Spring, another hiker told me about an interesting loop (some navigation required) you can make out of the Griff Creek trail with the nearby Cascade Rock hike.

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