Clallam County High Point Trip Report

Gray Wolf Ridge (7,218 ft)

Date: August 10, 2002
Author: Bob Bolton

Yesterday we made a trip to the northern Olympic Peninsula. We had originally intended to attempt both Clallam and Mason Counties this weekend, but Gray Wolf Ridge ended up being enough for one short trip.

Thanks to Ken Jones for the report. I can fill in some of the missing details. We had a bit of a struggle finding the road for several reasons. It took us awhile to realize that Ken's road number 8620 had transposed digits - it's really 2860. Our maps were completely inadequate, not having a current Forest Service map for the Olympic National Forest nor a Green Trails map. My old DeLorme had old road numbers and was therefore of minimal usefulness, so I guess I'll have to spring for a new one. I had a newly-purchased (last weekend) "recreation map" of the Olympic Peninsula but it too was woefully out of date.

So, here are the updated driving instructions: From the vicinity of Sequim Bay State Park on US 101, turn south at the sign to "Dungeness Trail". Drive to the T and turn left onto Palo Alto Road. (Palo Alto Road also connects directly to US 101 further west near Sequim.) Drive this paved road for several miles until you come to a gravel road signed "Dungeness Forks Campground" and turn right (FR 2880). Stay on 2880 past the campground until you reach the junction with FR 2870. Stay left at this junction. Then at the junction with FR 2860, stay right and drive 2860 to the junction with the sign Ken mentions indicating that Dungeness Trail is 2 miles further. At this junction turn right on 2860-120. Drive this road to the end.

I strongly recommend taking the connector trail Ken mentions about 200 yards past the creek crossing on the right. We missed it on the way up and used it coming down - big difference! The unmarked "Upper Maynard Burn Trail" is very well used and unmistakable. It does climb straight up the ridge and as such allows you to gain elevation rapidly. I agree with Ken to leave the trail when it leaves the ridge and head straight for the first point on the ridge toward Baldy. This saved a lot of time.

Since we got such a late start we were a bit discouraged when we first saw our objective, it seemed like it must be in the next county except that it didn't look much like Mt. Olympus. However, it wasn't as far away as it seemed, and the ridge walk was definitely well worth the effort.

On our way down our legs were feeling those 5,500 feet of elevation gain and loss that Ken calculated, so we agreed to not attempt another 5,000+ foot-gain peak this day and headed for home. Now I wish we'd stayed up there because of the weather. It's pretty hard to get perfect weather on the Peninsula!