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Wagon Wheel Lake Olympic National Park

10/19/2005
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I hiked this in mid October after a 1.5 month long break from hiking. I had been sick with colds, ear infections etc. since August. Warning signs at the trailhead said this was "one of the steepest trails in Olympic National Park".

I headed up the trail at 10:15 am and finished at 5:30 pm. While hiking up this dark dreary trail I kept waiting for it to get steep. It did not seem steep on the way up. There was a somewhat slippery slide alder jungle to negotiate right before the lake..

On the way down the trail suddenly seemed unbearably steep. My legs turned to jello and became so weak that I could only take baby sized steps. It took me the same amount of time to hike down as it took me to hike up. Three hours each way!

When I reached the lake I cooked lunch and spent about an hour eating it.. I had dehydrated fried rice and hot cocoa warmed up with my homemade esbit "stove". The lake it's self was ok. The fall colors of the trees above reflected off the water. I could hear a large animal in the bushes and soon a deer showed it's self on the other side of the lake.

The highlights of this hike were the fall colors and the mushrooms. There was not much else to see.

I don't think I will jump to do this hike again anytime soon. Lake of the Angels was about the same difficulty level but with a much better reward at the end. I had both lakes all to myself due to the difficulty of the hikes. But Lake of the Angels is Gorgeous!