Flapjack Lakes Olympic National Park
Old mines are prevalent on the eastern slopes of the Olympic Mountains, their shafts long since abandoned and overgrown, while some have simply collapsed and closed up. About Recreation. Black and White Lakes sit at 4, feet above sea level, and feet above the Staircase Ranger Station trailhead.
Black and White Lakes in Olympic National Park
Up high in the Staircase region, mountain goats roam the rocky peaks, while the rare marmot tans itself on the exposed rocks in the sun. Down below in the Skokomish River Valley, elk and deer graze, while a few black bear and cougar hide from view. The Skokomish is magical, wild, and just one of the hundreds of fantastic places to experience Olympic. One such place is Black and White Lakes. The history of the region is as old as time itself, wandered for millennia by the local tribes like the Skokomish.
The region is special, and unlike anywhere else in the world, which is why it brought Flapjack Lakes Olympic National Park settlers and explorers, hoping to start a new life out west, hoping to strike it big by setting up a timber mill, or a mine in the mountains. While the timber industry took off, and set up the communities that dot the Olympic Peninsula, the latter occupation failed to pan out, no pun intended.
Old mines are prevalent on the eastern slopes of the Olympic Mountains, their shafts long since abandoned and overgrown, while some have simply collapsed and closed up. Mining was once quite popular, but overtime, the industry faded away.
The Staircase region in Olympic National Park has numerous old mines along its trails, one of which is near two small lakes that offer one heck of an impressive view. Black and White Lakes sit at 4, feet above sea level, and feet above the Staircase Ranger Station trailhead. To get here, hikers need to follow the Flapjack Lakes Olympic National Park to Flapjack Lakes, before following the signs to Black and White Lakes.
They can be access by hiking directly uphill near Big Log along the Skokomish River Trail, but that is a 3, foot elevation gain in just over two miles. Black and White Lakes, for those curious, was named as such thanks to alcohol, a knife and a tree. The name comes from a brand of whiskey drank by early elk hunters in the region, and was beloved so much by one man, that he wandered off to the lake and carved the name of the whiskey into one of the high alpine trees.
While I was unable to locate this carving, which I assume is long gone, the name remains. The name was so popular that it was also the name of a mine on Mount Gladys which was operational from until They are visited, but only by a handful of backpackers, and even fewer day hikers who are looking for something incredible.
They are a place of silent reflection, meditation, and serenity. Starting at the trailhead above the Ranger Station the first Flapjack Lakes Olympic National Park. Enjoy this part, as it is the flattest trail you will see the rest of the day. From here, the trails head up, gaining around 2, feet over the next 3.
The steepest sections are the beginning and end, with the middle being downright pleasant and fun. Along this section of the hike, you will cross the Madeline Creek Bridge before eventually arriving at Donahue Creek Falls and the next intersection. About half a mile from the falls, the path splits again, this time with a sign telling you to head uphill Flapjack Lakes Olympic National Park Flapjack Lakes, or across Donahue Creek to get to Black and White Lakes. Head away from the valley below you after you take in the view and climb to the top of one of the many rocky outcroppings and head into the basin, soon spotting the…
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Please do not urinate in the vaults as they have to be flown out each year. The trail itself has a few moderate climbs, but overall is quite pleasant. Due to Covid and limited staffing last minute changes may not be possible.