Flapjack Lakes #114,Gladys Divide Primitive
Oct 27, 2007
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: North Fork Skokomish River and Flapjack Lakes
- Region: Olympics -- East
- Trails: Flapjack Lakes (#114)
- Avg Rating: 3.78
- Be Aware Of
Some friends and I went up the trail Saturday. If you want to go take a day off now because the road to the trail closes Thursday until April or so.
We had a great day. Started about 9 am. Not a cloud in the blue strip of sky we could see between the tops of the big trees. We hustled the first flat 4 miles out the N. Fork of the Skok. Just before the intersection to the Flapjacks Lake trail there was a creek flowing just fast and deep enough to require some fancy footwork.
As we went up the Flpajack Lakes trail we found a similar creek crossing about a mile out. Another mile up is the steel brige at Madeline Ck. The bridge had been bent dramatically by a
tree last winter. A sign says to cross one at a time, which we did. The bridge is wet and slippery and steep down to the bend. Requires a little care. Loose rock and one down tree to straddle a mile above Madeline Ck. From there the trail is great up past the intersection with Smith Lake Trail and up to Flapjack Lakes. The 8 miles and 3000 gain took us 4 hours from the trailhead. The lakes are pretty and beginning to freeze. We found a sunny patch of shoreline for lunch - but it was chilly!
Trail is in good condition. Patchy snow began at 4300. Snow consistent above 4700 to Gladys Divide. about 6"" deep and soft enough to kick and plunge step. Poles are handy! Upper tarns on both sides of divide are frozen. The view at the Divide is great - over a small snowy basin. We did the 1.5 miles and 1150 gain in about one hour and ten. It took 45 minutes coming back.
After a short break at the lake we started back to the trailhead. It was about 3:40 and we wanted to get to the flat North Fork trail before sunset. We managed to descend the 4 miles by 5pm. All that was left was to swing down the broad trail back to the trailhead. The light faded as we walked. Owls began to hoot. The gloomy shadows were softened by a silvery light and the occasional glowing autumn-leaved maple. Spike Camp rolled by, then the Staircase rapids. Dusk turned to evening as we crossed the log bridge at the horse ford. Soon we were cruising the last long hill before the trailhead. As we crested the hill we could make out the trailhead sign and a few cars at last light. We got back at 7pm. 10 hours, 19 miles, 4400 gain. We did a few tired high fives and fell into the car, glad to be headed home. But we had to change a noisy dramatic flat on the drive out. That woke us up! BTW - if your car is making a funny noise stop and check it out sooner rather than later.
Picture link - http://picasaweb.google.com/oldwhiner/20071027GladysDivide