Quenault Creek

I suppose moving away from anywhere there would be some regrets of things you neglected to do, but it still pains me that I was on backpacking hiatus while living in Washington.  Luckily we still have a lot of family and reason for regular visits.  Olympic National Park always seemed to be pretty special the few times I visited and a proper few nights spent there has been on the list for several years.


After spending a few glorious sunny fall days on Whidbey Island for some friends’ wedding (where we were also married one day away from exactly seven years earlier), the forecast for the following days when we would be out in the wilds didn’t look great, though I figured it would be appropriate to have a proper rainforest experience after such a brutally dry summer.






Trail name: Mossy Bottoms


Being there for the small window of colors other than green was a treat…






Backpacking with Z has made the idea of the basecamp make sense for the first time.  It’s pretty difficult to be under 40 lbs with the carrier (just the pack and babe is already 30+) and it’s nothing like carrying a well packed 40 lbs in a nicely harnessed backpack.  Being able to dump shelter, food, and not carry around a few days worth of wet and dirty diapers is the way to go when possible.


We did get a bit of rain on day two but nothing to hamper spirits.


Mountain goats, lots of elk, and two bears made the already spectacular day even more magical.














Despite the rain our camp was under such enormous and dense cedars that it was completely dry when we arrived back at camp.  The difference in darkness and light between our camp and 30 meters out amongst the scattered alders along the creek was staggering.




Reminding Auntie not to forget the Evan Williams in her morning coffee…










I prefer loops but returning the way you came isn’t all bad.  New perspective, new light, and always things you missed the first time…












This would be a pretty spectacular (if woody) boat ride earlier in the summer…


No roads through the park and lots of trailless drainages definitely gets the future-possibilities-crank turning.


A couple nights of car camping at Mt. Rainier topped things off nicely.
























5 thoughts on “Quenault Creek

  1. Gorgeous photos, Brendan. Really captures the soggy, misty landscape very well. On a visit to Seattle for a wedding in September our family took a few extra days and circumnavigated ONP, tent camping near Ruby Beach. We had lunch in the Quinault area and many of my thoughts on the area matched yours.

    Question for you – did you sew the little rain cover for the kid backpack or pick that up somewhere? Looks like a nice solution for rain over the little one that I’d be interested in trying for my daughter. Thanks.

    • Thanks Sam. I didn’t sew it; Osprey sells them to fit their carriers. One unexpected benefit is that it adds a pretty significant amount of warmth. Basically acts as a wind/vapor barrier for the whole carrier. Gets pretty cozy in there…

      • We’ve got an 80s vintage “Tough Traveler” kid carrier that I need to mock or buy something up for. The wind benefits seem pretty worthwhile on the one you have but there also appears to be enough air flow to keep it from steaming up inside. Thanks for the response.

      • Yeah the front is totally open so it doesn’t get too steamy in there while still preventing heat loss from the breeze. It’d be pretty easy to make one I’d think; just a 3-sided box basically.

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