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Flapjack Lakes '06,  Olympic National Park,  May 19, 2006     page 1 / 11

I headed for the hills recently. My intent was to hike into the snowfields northwest of Mt. Rainier. Those plans were discouraged by an auto accident which turned the highway into a parking lot. I opted to head west instead, toward the Olympic National Park. I drove to the Staircase Ranger Station, at the northwest end of Lake Cushman. From there I would hike the Skokomish River trail.

The trail is beautiful any time of year, with a variety of trees and undergrowth, as well as glimpses of the roaring Skokomish River. After a mile or so I reached the Staircase Rapids bridge junction. I headed toward the bridge to inspect the area. I already knew the bridge was out. It was damaged several years ago in a winter storm. The area is still quite impressive, with a great amount of water pouring through the area where the bridge once stood.

The Staircase Rapids bridge