Elwha River Trail Trip - 1993

  As recorded in Wayne’s Journal:  On 4 September, 1993, a friend of mine (Andy) and I (Wayne) caught the 5:40 am Edmonds, WA ferry.  We drove to the Elwha River [Whiskey Bend] trailhead, and we were hiking at 9:30 am.  After a relatively short amount of hiking, I heard some rustling in the bushes on the left side of the trail.  I initially thought it was a herd of elk.  I stopped and Andy was a 100 yards in front of me.  He turned around and I motioned that I heard something. Suddenly I spotted a bear cub a short distance away from me.  And then a second bear cub appeared also.  They were black and small - similar in size to a medium sized dog.  They were romping around and playing.  I did not see the mother bear.  I watched them briefly, and then continued hiking.  Andy saw the bear cubs also.

   It took us 1:50 (hours) to hike to Lillian River; 1:30 to hike to Mary Falls; and 1:20 to hike to Elkhorn camp.  The next morning, after breakfast, we picked up camp and were hiking again at 11:00 am.  We then hiked for an hour and found a camp site .3 miles from Hayes Guard station.

   On 6 Sept. 93 we got up at 7:00 am.  I saw a doe and a fawn along the trail. I started the return hike at 12:45 pm (Andy started an hour earlier).  It took 2 hours to reach Elkhorn camp.

   I was impressed with a log cabin that was a couple of miles upstream from Elkhorn.  I noticed that the logs had very little cracking in them.

   We continued to Mary’s Falls.  We camped there.  The next morning I picked a cup of red huckleberries.  We had huckleberry pancakes.  A doe and a fawn walked near our camp during breakfast.

   We started hiking at noon and reached the truck at 4:10 pm.  It took 1:35 (hours) to reach the Lilian River; and 1:42 to reach the trailhead.


1. “Beyond the Trails with Herb and Lois Crisler in Olympic National Park”, by Francis E. Caldwell, First Printing 1998

Note 1: The “Olympics_W” web page can be viewed by selecting Trails & Routes->Olympics_W from the menu bar at top.

Note 2: The “Glacier Meadows/Elwha Basin - 1989” web page can be viewed by selecting Trails & Routes->Olympics_W->Gl.Mead./Elwha Bsn. Trip 1 from the menu bar at top.

Note 3: On 5 Sept 92, I (Wayne) hiked the Elwha River Trail.  I started hiking at 12:15 pm.  I arrived at Elkhorn camp at 6:00 pm.  I fished until 8:00 pm.  The next morning I had pancakes for breakfast.  I fished from noon to 7:30 pm.  I caught several trout during this time.  On 7 Sept. 92, I got up, fixed breakfast, picked up camp, and was hiking at 10:30 am.  I reached the trailhead at 3:00 pm.  I got back to Seattle at 7:30 pm.

Note 4: On 23 Sept. 89, I (Wayne) drove from Seattle to Elwha River Trailhead (Whiskey Bend) with a married couple (Wayne and Karen).  We were hiking at 11:00 am.  After an hour of hiking, we found a camp site next to a creek and close to the river. We fished that afternoon and part of the evening. The next morning we got up and fished; then had breakfast.  We then hiked to Humes Ranch (see Note 5).  We returned to our camp, and got ready for our return trip.  We started hiking at 1:30 pm.  We reached the trailhead at 2:30 pm.  We arrived back in Seattle at 8:00 pm.

Note 5: As stated in reference 1 on p. 52 (see note 32), Herb and Lois Crisler resided at Humes Ranch during most of the decade (1940s).  Additional information about Herb and Lois Crisler can be found in Note 2.

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