Wonderland Trail – Day 6

Day 6 – S. Mowich River to Golden Lakes

6.7 Miles
2300 Feet Elevation Gain
0 Feet Elevation Loss

This morning I bid good bye to my new hiker friends Dave and Jason, and hit the trail by 8:30 a.m.  S. Mowich River Campground is positioned between the S. Mowich and N. Mowich Rivers in a valley and is one of the lowest points on the Wonderland Trail, at 2600 Feet.  The trail meandered through a rain forest hanging with moss and greenery. Very lovely.

Forest Path Near S. Mowich River

After crossing the S. Mowich River, I then had a 2300-foot elevation climb uphill to get to Golden Lakes.  It was a pleasant walk though through the forest, despite the many switchbacks.

As I hiked, I composed a haiku to my spoon.  Or, more accurately, a spoon which is *technically* my partner’s, but which I have adopted for this trip.  A spoon with an extra long handle is a must have for eating backcountry meals out of freezer bags. I had a moment of panic earlier in the day in which I couldn’t find the spoon and was horrified that I might have lost it. When I located it under a log, I decided to compose an ode to my favorite eating implement.

Backcountry Spoon Haiku

Oh long-handled spoon
Tasty delights await me
Oatmeal is yummy

After 4.5 miles I entered an alpine area and the trail flattened out a bit as it traversed the meadow.

Alpine Area Just Before Golden Lakes

I arrived to the camp just after noon and once again got to pick the best campsite, with a view of the valley below and a lake. I spent the afternoon lazing in the sun on the shores of the lake behind the Patrol Cabin and watching dragonflies.

Lazy afternoon at Golden Lakes

I also walked up the trail to Sunset Park and picked some wild blueberries.  Yum!

I had heard there were bears in the area so I whistled loudly as I went berry picking.  I’m still a bit nervous after my bear encounter earlier this week.

Back at camp, I was chatting with some other hikers about gear (a topic with which we can enthusiastically converse for hours) when the ranger came by and said that a bear had just entered camp and that we should all make sure our food bags were secured. Yikes! My bag was on the bear pole already but some other hikers had to scramble to put up their food.

We had the most amazing sunset tonight with views all the way to the Olympic Peninsula.  I guess that’s why this area is called Sunset Park. Magnificent.

Sunset from Golden Lakes Campground

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