Day 51: Olympic National Forest

Monday September 2, 24.8mi/39.9km

Snow Creek Rd (1021.7/748ft) to Copper Creek camp (1046.5/4311ft) (WA)

I heard a diesel vehicle go by on the road at 6am, and it was still dark. It stopped maybe a quarter mile away, and idled loudly, waiting. I was awake, so I packed up, and by the time I was ready to go it was 6:45am and daylight. Today started off with a couple of hours of dirt road walking. It was nice and relaxing, and no cars whatsoever.

Then, I got on the Snow Creek trail, which climbs Mt Zion. The trail was really steep, gaining 2000ft in only 1.7 miles.

On top of the summit, I had a view down onto the clouds below. Neat!

A better view came along a few minutes later, on the descent.

The trail was immaculately maintained, and really soft to walk on.

It also had many cool little side streams that sounded very gurgle-y.

I crossed paths with a group of people out for a dayhike to the summit, it was fun explaining to them why I had a backpack, and how this trail went all the way to Montana.

I hiked all day on nice trails, and my surroundings became greener as I went.

There were a few trail junctions, and because PNT markers are so scarce, someone had drawn a helpful “PNT” on the sign.

A few hours later I came to a trailhead and a small parking lot. As usual, there were the miscellaneous lost items at the info board. The single lost shoe was amusing, though. It was covered in moss! Also, how does someone lose a shoe and not realize it?

The ground and entire forest were mossy too.

I passed by an old AT-style shelter, but with a dirt floor. It looked like people camp here, but there was also evidence of mice activity. Moving on…

At the end of the day, I entered the Buckhorn Wilderness.

I hiked uphill a few miles to Copper Creek, and set up camp. It’s pretty high up, so it will probably be a cold night!

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