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John Guilford's Hikes

Badger Valley, O.N.P. on 2015-06-21

Date: 2015-06-21

Location: Badger Valley, O.N.P.

People: (including myself): Pam

		       	       Alt.	 Miles
Obstruction Point:     11:40   6100	 0
Badger Valley Trail:   11:55   6100	 0.2
Trail Junction:	       12:20   5340	 1.1
Deer Park Trail:       1:25    6650	 2.4
Obstruction Point:     2:45    6100	 4.4
With the warm dry winter the snow melted out earlier than usual and the road into Obstruction Point as well as all the trails were clear of snow.  Originally we had planned to hike the Grand Lake loop with the Badger Valley Trail and Lillian Ridge Trails.  However, by the time we got to the trailhead, we realized that we really didn't have enough time to do that hike and still get back to Sequim for a dinner reservation, so we decided to do this shorter hike. 

[ PIX1 ] [ PIX8 ] To get to the Badger Valley Trail, take the Deer Park Trail almost a quarter mile until an (unmarked) trail heads east, switch backing down into the head of Badger Valley.  Though it was cool and windy up on the ridge, as we descended into Badger Valley it warmed up and the breeze died down.  We passed a number of back packers coming up out of Badger Valley

[ PIX2 ] The trail continually descends into the valley with things getting wetter and greener.  We saw quite a bit of wild flowers along with butterflies.  We saw a few marmots and many more marmot holes.  There was some shade but the route was mostly in the sun. 

[ PIX3 ] [ PIX4 ] We wondered how obvious the side trail up to Deer Park Trail would be.  We needn't have worried.  About a mile into the valley we came across a wooden signpost at a clear trail junction.  Here we turned left up the side of the valley instead of continuing down Badger Valley towards Grand Lake. 

[ PIX0 ] [ PIX5 ] The nature of the hike changes drastically.  Till now, we'd been heading downhill most of the time.  The side trail wastes no time steeply grinding out elevation as it climbs the side of Badger Valley.  We both started sweating with the extra exertion.  The grade was steep so we just went slowly, with the grade moderating a bit near the top.  This was the quiet part of the hike where we saw no other humans. 

[ PIX6 ] [ PIX7 ] It was past lunch time and we were getting hungry, but we'd set a goal of getting to the top (Deer Park Trail) before eating.  After an hour's slog we reached the trail and stopped for lunch.  From here you get a good view up into Grand Valley with Moose Lake and Grand Lake easily seen.  Here you also get a good view of how low you drop below the lakes when doing the loop and how much elevation you need to make up to get back to Obstruction Point.  You also get a good view of Mt. Olympus.  It was cooler on the ridge and my jacket went on to block the wind. 

The Deer Park Trail is more popular and we saw more hikers (both day hikers and back packers) using it as well as a couple who were doing the same loop we did, though in the opposite direction.  After lunch we had a relatively easy hike back along the side of the ridge, descending back down to Obstruction Point. 


[ PIX1 ] View down into Badger Valley from Deer Park Trail. 

[ PIX2 ] Wild flowers and butterflies in Badger Valley

[ PIX3 ] Pam starting the climb out of Badger Valley to Deer Park Trail. 

[ PIX4 ] Pam continuing climb with cascade in background. 

[ PIX5 ] Pam still continuing the climb.  Getting nearer to Deer Park Trail. 

[ PIX6 ] View up Grand Valley from Deer Park Trail.  Grand Lake and Moose Lake are visible. 

[ PIX7 ] View of Mt. Olympus from Deer Park Trail. 

[ PIX8 ] Beginning of Deer Park Trail and switchbacks leading down into Badger Valley

[ PIX0 ] Map with elevation plot for hike. 

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Last updated on: Thu Jun 25 16:23:56 PDT 2015