Duckabush River – Olympic Peninsula

Duckabush River

The shroud of fog lifted quickly as we moved through the uniform second growth along a long abandoned roadbed towards the Duckabush River. After about a mile, the old growth started to take over… the grand old trees of the Northwest, 15 feet across with thick with slabs of bark extending endlessly above us. As we entered the Brothers Wilderness area we started seeing the remnants of a large burn – left from an accidental fire in 1985 that burned close to 1000 acres of old growth. The forest is regenerating, but there are plenty of old giants bearing battle scars. We continued over the Hump, a 1000 foot climb in under a mile, and descended another 600 feet to meet the churning Duckabush at a well defined campsite nestled between old growth firs next to spitting rapids – this was our turnaround point at 5.2 miles, though the trail itself continues 20 miles into the 16,682 acre wilderness area.

The forest in the Olympics is verdant, even at this time of year. It’s strikingly different to many of the Southeast forests we encountered, which seemed more grey and rust, with their deciduous trees and annual shrubs. Despite being further north, the landscape in Washington remains a panoply of shades of green, green-grey, blue and ocher year round…

Duckabush River trail

Duckabush River trail

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