Nature is always full of surprises. The day started with heavy overcast skies and the forecast didn’t look great either. The previous day was totally rained out so we didn’t have high hopes for the second day. We got up early and planned to do a morning hike at Obstruction Point before wrapping up the trip.

This post is long overdue. I’ve been out exploring and taking advantage of summer weather, but late is better than never! (Part 1)

There were barely any other cars driving up to the ridge, the clouds were thick so visibility was poor and even on the ridge you could barely make out the mountains around. We found a few trails but this one was pretty awesome. It’s a short but steep 2 mile hike with ~825′ elevation gain. The grading doesn’t feel too bad but anyone without proper footwear will feel it in their toes going downhill! The trail declines first so the ascent is on the return trip.

Going down is pretty easy and you’re treated to great views of the valley and coast at certain points. (You can see Port Angeles and Canada off in the distance). Around 0.7 miles down you’ll be treated to this spectacular waterfall. We spent a bit of time photographing here and there’s a couple different spots you can try to get different compositions.

Cloudy days make for great waterfall days | A7R II
Cloudy days make for great waterfall days – A7R II

After the falls, there’s a short incline before you actually reach the end of the trail, PJ Lake. Tucked away and surrounded in 3 directions, PJ lake gets plenty of water flowing into it. There’s a couple waterfalls around that feed into the lake as well.

Even more spectacular in person - A7R II (70-200mm F4)
Even more spectacular in person – A7R II (70-200 F4)

After the lake, it’s back up hill! This part will be tough for many, especially if you aren’t used to hiking elevation. It’s a mostly narrow and exposed trail back up to the parking lot so bring water and ready legs. The actual distance is pretty short though, so given enough time most will make it back up.

We finished the hike around 6PM. There was still 3 hours until sunset so we decided to relax at hurricane ridge, cook dinner, and wait for the magic to happen. After such a cloudy few days, the skies finally looked liked there would be a spectacular sunset.

I prefer to let pictures do the talking so.. hope they do justice.

Clouds forecasting a great sunset! | A7R II @ 70mm (70-200 F4)
Clouds forecasting a great sunset! | A7R II @ 70mm (70-200 F4)

Sunset colors go pretty quickly and the best colors come after the sunsets. I love this exposure and how some of the background peaks are exposed through the dreamy clouds. Would have preferred to a slightly longer exposure but I love the colors in this.

My favorite shot of the night | A7R II 30s @ 200m (70-200 F4)
My favorite shot of the night | A7R II 30s @ 200m (70-200 F4)

I actually took a very similar shot last year. Much less snow this year in the foreground and a bit more clouds. I’ll let you decide which one you prefer.

Took a similar shot almost exactly 1 year ago! | A7R II @ 200mm
Took a similar shot almost exactly 1 year ago! | A7R II @ 200mm

And as per usual:

Photo Trip Rating: 9/10
Hike Worthy Rating: 9/10

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Kristen

Can I just say I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS. You are so talented! Good luck! ?