"The trail begins at an elevation of 800 feet across the river from the ranger station. The trail crosses a clearing and comes to a side path that leads to a giant cedar, 14 feet in diameter. (the cedar has long-since fallen but still lays there, look for pic of us next to it) Then it emerges on the banks of the Skokomish, at the beginning of the side paths that lead to scenic vistas. In less than a mile you'll reach Staircase Rapids, where the water flows over low terraces. Olympic rivers are a good place to look for wildlife -- belted kingfishers and harlequin ducks or even Cope's giant salamanders, which are endemic to the Olympics.
Beyond the rapids the trail climbs Dead Horse Hill, created by a glacier during the last Ice Age. A path leads to the Rapids Bridge at the Lower Skokomish Crossing. (the bridge washed out in the mid-90's; you may complete the loop however if you are brave enough to wade through the rapids) The trail descends to Beaver Flat, part of which was burned by the Beaver Fire of 1985, and at 1.7 miles reaches Copper View Camp, which provides a view upriver to Copper Mountain. (best part of the hike for me, the view was to-die-for.)"
we ate lunch on the bank of the river next to where the old bridge used to be, and then the kids played in the water for a bit.
and by "play in the water", what i really mean is throwing rocks into it to watch the splash, which is what they spent 90% of the time doing.
the sun was shining down through the trees here onto some mossy rocks that i thought were pretty.
here's a pic of the bridge that completed the loop before it got washed away.
see those rocks upstream? that is where we waded through.
this was a cool little bridge.....just a huge log that was flat on top with a branch railing screwed to one side.
this view if nothing else made the whole hike worthwhile.
a big rock in the middle of the trail.
on our way out, we stopped at lake cushman, which the skokomish river feeds into. it is *so* beautiful.....it backs right up to the foothills and has super clear pretty water for swimming and playing in.
not sure what samuel is doing here, LOL....
my little mermaid.
i have about a zillion pictures of samuel playing with this board he found in the water. for some reason he thought it was the coolest water toy EVAH. he crawled on it.....
used it as a bench.....
tried to use it as a boogie-board....
okay, maybe it makes a better surfboard.....
and he used it to build his own personal stonehenge on.
trying to push his sister off of HIS board.
my shadow in the water.