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Hiking help

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
81 posts
17 reviews
Hiking help

We will be in arriving in Washington In just 8 days. After spending 3 nights exploring beaches and the rain forests, we then move to Port Angeles for 2 nights. I had originally picked Klahhane Ridge as one of our hikes. But my youngest daughter had ACL surgery on her right knee three months ago, and at her recent follow up we asked her dr about what she can and can't do as far as hikes. Her Dr has asked that we stay away from steep hikes. From the description Klahhane Ridge is fairly steep in the beginning of the hike. My husband and I will probably still do this hike if conditions are good, but now are looking for another hike we can all do together in this area. I read a description on WTA of Elk Mountain to Maiden Peak and it does not appear to be steep, more gradual. There were no trip reports with it and I haven't been able to find any other descriptions. Can anyone give me some advice on this trail or any others in this area that might meet our need?

13 replies to this topic
Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,694 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Hiking help

Imhave only done parts of this trail and it has been so,long that I just can’t remember, but I believe that no matter how you do this you are going to a have steep descent and return ascent to and from Obstruction Point Road.

You gain elevation, but why not Hurricane Hill. Not really knowing what kinds of trails your daughter should be doing Imhate to suggest mountain hikes. Some can be rocky too. Totally different condition, but over the years I have had both knees replaced from long distant jogging when I was younger. Trail conditions can really vary. I have not done Lilian Ridge in a long time. My recollection is that the first part of that is pretty easy. Kaleberg will comment on that. The Road will be very dusty and narrow in places. I always drive it defensively since so many visitors either do not know how to drive on these kind of roads or some yahoos drive it far too fast.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,722 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Hiking help

No to Elk Mountain; I'm sorry. Lillian Ridge has one somewhat steep descent along a switchback with nice, big steps, and gradual ups and downs until you reach the steep descent to Grand Lake, about 45 minutes to one hour into the lovely hike. I haven't been up there this summer yet, largely due to the frustrating delays in getting up Hurricane Ridge Road. However, it is still very early for Obstruction Ridge Road to be open, and I suspect that the trail will have big snowy stretches. I love this trail, and I love the scary (but really not dangerous unless you are an idiot driver) drive to it, especially this early in the summer before the worst of the dust. You might consider it.

Hurricane Hill is lovely, and the ascent is only 700 feet, but be aware that there is one very steep stretch early in the hike and two more that rise fairly steeply for a while. Much of the total elevation gain is compressed into these stretches.

I hope your daughter heals perfectly from this serious, and much too common, injury. Please encourage her to get hiking poles for this trip. They are a Godsend.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
81 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Hiking help

Thank you glaciermeadows! I should have said that we do plan on Hurricane Hill with her on our first late afternoon in this area. We will have hiking poles that I'm not so sure she will want to use but if we are on a very uneven, rocky trail we will insist. Lillian Ridge looks very pretty. We may add this one. We can always turn around if we feel it might be hurtful to her knee. These hikes remind me of some beautiful ones we did in th Canadian Rockies. The hikes will be on July 1 & 2, will snow be an issue at all?

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
81 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: Hiking help

Well Kaleberg, we were typing at the same time and you answered a few questions so thank you! Yes, it is a very common/serious injury with a very long healing time. We certainly don't want to do anything that will put that knee in jeopardy especially as she starts her freshman year in college this August. We may just hike Hurricane Hill, see how it goes. She may just have a rest day in the hotel the second day, which might actually be the best idea. Thank you both for your advice and help!

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,694 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Hiking help

I agree make her use poles. Tell her Kaleberg and I said she is not allowed to hike up there without them. I guess steep is a relative term, but for a mountain hike I do not consider any of the Hurricane Hill,hike as steep. Then again I didn’t just have surgery on my knee. I am typing using only one eye as I had eye surgery this morning. I look like a pirate until the patch comes off tomorrow. You can always ask at the visitors center before going up to the Ridge about snow at Lilian Ridge. Kaleberg would know better than me. We have had some warm temps and lots of sun the last couple of months. Not your typical Spring here. Although it may be our new normal. It was close to 90in Poulsbo the other day and I hated it.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
81 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: Hiking help

I will definitely tell her the experts said to use the poles!! Very much looking forward to this trip, even tho we will have to modify it somewhat. Plenty of of beauty to explore! Hope the heat stays away during our trip, 90's plus is our typical at home

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,694 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Hiking help

You should appreciate a huge difference in temperatures. The Coast can be even cooler. Better is the fact that our Summer humidity is never as high as yours. I lived in New Orleans before moving here. You won’t be sleeping in 80 degree weather at night. Enjoy

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,861 posts
102 reviews
8. Re: Hiking help

Our son has been through several ACL surgeries, most recently 2 months ago. The first time, he did not hike for close to 5-6 months, but this time he started back in at about 5 weeks, very slowly. Now at 8 weeks, just last week, he did a 7 mile r/t backpacking trip, with 2300 elevation gain. He was cleared to do light backpacking, so this was pushing it a bit, but he did fine. I share this just to show that each person is different, and even from one surgery to another even with the same person. He is in his early 20's, and a serious mountain climber, but still knew that this was his limit at this point in time. My advice is to just really keep an eye on her and make sure she isn't pushing it too much. Parents can tell, so you probably wont even have to ask her;) Hurricane Hill should be ok, but have her go ahead of you so you can keep a watch on her. If she can set the pace, that helps too, IME. I have been through several knee surgeries myself, and yes, trekking poles are a must! Good luck to her and I hope her recovery is quick:)

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
81 posts
17 reviews
9. Re: Hiking help

Mtngrl, I really appreciate your input! Thank you! That’s a great idea to let her be our pace setter and keeping her in front of me. She hasn’t done anything without her dr’s ok first so I do think she is cautious. At first when she tore her ACL I had thought about just canceling this trip, but it was something we were looking forward to. I feel like it’s doable even if we have to change our plans occasionally. I do see her improving so much, but we have been warned that this isn’t the time to push, so we will not. She has a PT session the day before we leave so I will also consult with him. I wish your son luck as he heals, I can’t imagine having multiple ACL surgeries.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,861 posts
102 reviews
10. Re: Hiking help

Mandy--It is always hard to see our kids, no matter their age, go through things like this. Our son has actually had 4 knee surgeries, but only 2 were ACL's. Lacrosse and skiing (double black diamond, jumps and spins, his usual!). Having a PT appt right before you leave is perfect! Also, once you arrive, pick up some disposable ice packs that you just crush and they get cold. That way you will have them on hand if she has any swelling at all, or even just can feel it. Better to head it off at the beginning so she feels ok later.

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