Key: 2011-09-02:     2011-09-03:     2011-09-04:    

Queets Labor Day Trip

A trip up to Bob Creek on the Queets River.

Begin Date:

End Date:

2011-09-02: 6.18 mi
2011-09-03: 8.35 mi
2011-09-04: 7.53 mi
2011-09-05: 5.47 mi

Total: 27.52 mi

Maximum Elevation*:
613.36ft (187.500m)

Minimum Elevation*:
39.36ft (12.017m)

Gallery for this adventure:
Click here

* This is derived from GPS data and can have major discrepancies due to poor GPS reception.

Trip Report:

Friday 9.02.11: Queets Trailhead to Spruce Bottom

We arrived at the Queets river shortly after 11am eager to hit the trail as the clouds were begining to give way to beautiful blue sky. The river crossing posed little trouble flowing at only 695 cfs and before long we were drying our feet and getting ready to hit the trail proper. It was more or less an uneventful hike but nonetheless we all enjoyed it mostly due to the improving weather, which by the time we had reached Spruce bottom had blossomed into a cloudless afternoon. The trail was also im almost perfect shape in terms of the Queets having been fairly recently cleared of brush until about mile 5. We spent the rest of the day fishing and collecting wood for the fire. All in all it was a great start to what should be a great weekend.

Saturday 9.03.11: Spruce Bottom to Bob Creek

The weather was again perfect so getting started wasn't much of an issue, though we did take our time, leaving our campsite in the afternoon. Once on the trail we made slow progress simply due to the ever worsening trail conditions. Surprisingly there isn't a great deal of blowdown if really any, but that is more than made up for by the feintness of the path. In some places, mostly in the lower grassy areas, the trail all but vanishes. Typically it wasn't too much trouble picking it back up with the aid of either a trail marker or by simply looking for a cut log. This did seem to be more than some were willing to deal with as we ran into a few hikers that became frustrated to the point of giving up. Truth be told, the trail isn't that difficult to follow in the tougher places if you possess even basic navigation skills and are willing to endure the unrivaled undergrowth of the Olympic rainforests.

It took us about 4 hours to finally arrive at Bob Creek, or rather where Bob Creek should be. While we didn't spend too much time searching around, a shelter, remnants of a shelter, or proper campsite was not to be found. Perhaps we didn't go far enough up the trail despite the GPS claiming we had already passed it by 500 feet. In any event, we ended up camping on the beach and spending the rest of the lovely evening fishing, relaxing, and restoring our depleted energy reserves.

Sunday 9.04.11: Bob Creek to Spruce Bottom

We awoke to yet another beautiful blue sky and with it a sun that was already becoming intense. Not wanting to repeat the previous day's late campground departure we pushed hard and managed to improve considerably hitting the trail by 11am.

For the first half hour we bushwhacked back to the trail since we had ultimately worked our way about a half a mile downstream during the previous night's hunt for campsite. We ended up reconnecting with the trail shortly before where Bob Creek meets the Queets proper.
From there the day went pretty much as one would expect seeing as we had negotiated the difficult spots on the way up an knew exactly where the trail could be found. At the places where we were thrown off we even took the time to thoroughly mark the route for future hikers.

Upon returning to Spruce Bottom we moved into the sandy site across the trail from what I believe was the old shelter site/meadow. That site is a bit unique in that it provides access to what maybe the best Queets swimming hole I have ever encountered. The river bottom is mostly sandy, the current slows considerably, and the water is about 5 feet deep. It truly was an appreciated treat after hiking in the sun all afternoon.

The rest of the evening was spent in the standard backpacking manner, eating freeze dried meals and watching the world go by.

Monday 9.05.11: Spruce Bottom to trailhead

Again, the weather could not have been better, but begin Labor Day and knowing that making a hasty exit could mean hours off of our drive time back home, we packed up early. The trip out was as you would expect since the trail was in great condition from Spruce Bottom down. We mad good time and were back to the cars just before 11am. We waved goodbye to the Queets and with that called the trip complete.