Anderson Pass, Olympic National Park, Aug 12, 2008 - Aug 15, 2008 page 1 / 43
I have many memories of hiking up the Dosewallips River in Olympic National Park. I've hiked both the main fork and the west fork several times. One of the most memorable trips was the week-long trek I took with my brother and father in the mid-1970s. We were camped in Lacrosse Basin, half-way through our trip when the weather turned for the worse. The long two days which followed were under constant rain. Despite the wet outcome of that trip, I have always enjoyed the Dosewallips, or "Dose" (pronounced "dosey").
During that trip we crossed Anderson Pass. The pass sits at 4464 feet above sea level and divides the West fork of the Dose and the Main fork of the Quinalt Rivers. It provides a great starting point for those interested in climbing Mt. Anderson via several routes.
I last visited Anderson Pass in 1995. The west fork of the Dose provides access to the area. A bridge crosses the river near its confluence with the main fork of the Dose. This bridge sits about 150 feet over the river. In the late 1990s, the bridge was closed due to safety issues. While access to the upper Dosewallips river could be gained via other routes, they involved multiple days to reach the Anderson Pass area. It was several years before the bridge was replaced. As a consequence, I did not visit the west fork.
Then, in 2002, during a winter storm, a hundred yards or more of the Dosewallips River road was washed away. The washout closed the last five and a half miles of gravel road ending at the Dosewallips Ranger Station and trailhead. Access to the valley would be significantly changed for years to come. This added an additional 5.5 miles of hiking along the old road before reaching the old trailhead.
At this point in time the environmental impact of creating a bypass around the washout is being studied.
Despite these hindrances, it was time to return to the area. Dad suggested that I might enjoy climbing Mt. Anderson. I reviewed the climbing guide and found a couple of non-technical routes suitable for me and my family. The plan was to take two days to reach the Anderson Pass area, climb on day three, then spend another couple of days on our return. There would be four of us on the trip: Libby, Tom, Kevin and I. Chris did not want to join us for such an adventure, so he stayed at home for several days of solitude.