Eric Sandbo
on Google Maps
Home is in Burlington, WA USA.

Eric Sandbo's conversations

I started with my old hiking guide, "102 Hikes in the S Cascades & Olympics," published by The Mountaineers. It's decades old now, and has been replaced by more complete guides covering smaller sections of the state. My best source was the Olympic National Park website. They check a lot of hikers in and out for those beaches, and know what to look for. I brought USGS maps for the area, but the ONP backcountry office at Port Angeles sells a map to cover just the coastal strip in the same detail. It also shows approved camps and, at certain low passages, the highest tide that will allow you to pass with dry feet. The Park will charge you for the privilege of backpacking the beaches, but it's cheap entertainment. They will rent bear-proof food containers cheap to anyone who doesn't bring their own. There's a big difference between June weather and July weather. We had some significant rain in July, but in June you may not see the sun at all.

Two reasons I chose the south portion, either of which may not apply to you: the N half involves that long drive off highway 101 to Ozette Lake or Cape Flattery makes dropping off a car a real chore, and since I was hiking with only my 12-y.o. son, there weren't many alternatives involving a second car. As it was, I searched the Forks Chamber of Commerce website and found a car-moving service for hikers. They were a husband & wife who, for a reasonable fee, rode with us to the Third Beach trailhead, then drove our car home for a few days, then left it for us at Oil City, on the Hoh River. It worked perfectly. I don't know if a similar service is available at the N end, or if you have that covered. The other reason is that the N beaches hike is so popular that I wasn't sure we could get approved after driving all the way to P.A. The S hike doesn't suffer from that kind of overuse. If you hike the N part, you'll probably learn why it's so popular. Go prepared to time you life by the tides, and you'll have a great time.

Location is that of the photographer; the spires are 3.5 miles (5.6 km) SSW.

Look closely at the gap between the highest summit (The Mole) and the pair to the left (The Duolith), and you'll see a chockstone the size of a small house.

After several recommendations, I got around to reading Three Cups of Tea last month. I still wasn't sure where Korphe was until I saw missum's photo of the school. Mr. Mortenson arrived a few years after this photo and found the village connected to the road by a box suspended from pulleys riding on a taut cable across the river, an arrangement we found a couple of days farther up the valley. Apparently this 3-vine bridge succumbed to the elements and was replaced by that cable system. Click this photo to see it full-scale, and it's easy to imagine it breaking. And when we were here in 1988, we were still 2 days' hike (OK, 1 day for the locals) from drivable road, due to an avalanche down-valley. The box-on-pulleys arrangement is still used in the U.S. There's one a few feet upstream of the I-5 bridge across the Skagit River in Washington State. Mr. Mortenson, his donors, and the local workers deserve all the praise and assistance they can get.

No sign of new work on it here. A few miles south in the community of Bryant we saw new construction on this trail, on the E side of SR 9. As far as I know, the only usable part of the runs from a few miles S of Arlington to the middle of Snohomish. Snohomish county and Skagit county parks websites probably have updated info and expected completion times. It's called the Centennial Trail. The completed part is paved and cries out for bicycles. This part may be short, but If you can find an excuse to be in the neighborhood, you can expect to find solitude and maybe wild critters.

Nature is great. Kind regards

Thanks Eric, I made the correction.


This is a wonderful photo!


Nice view. My one time up there was one of the hardest weekends of my life. On Sat. we took a beginning mountaineering class up from the road to camp at the base of Pyramid, then climbed these three peaks. On Sun. we traversed over to Snowfield (pausing to rescue a member who fell 40 feet into a crevasse), then on the return a few of us climbed Colonial before packing up and descending to the cars. Makes me glad of the brain's limited ability to remember pain.

When you stand on the east end of this bridge, you're on the foot of Davis Peak, one of only two mountains in the "Lower 48" that have cliffs that drop over 1 mile in less than 1 horizontal mile. But it's on the opposite (NE) side of the mountain, visible only from a few high trails nearby.

Nice shot. Makes me thirsty.

Thanks, Randy. I made 5 trips into the Bugaboos, always in June, and we had quite a few enforced rest days. I hear the weather is much dryer in July, but don't go too late, or some climbs may be unapproachable beyond schrunds. Try it again - it's too good to miss.



  • loading Loading…


Eric Sandbo's groups