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Hiking the Colonel: 5 Reasons Why You Should Climb Colonel Bob Peak

Walking the ledge atop Colonel Bob in a storm

Walking the ledge atop Colonel Bob in a storm

 

The hike from Pete’s Creek to Colonel Bob Peak is not for everyone, but it should be.

 

At 8 miles round trip and 3,500 feet of elevation gain, the majority of day hikers avoid this route for fear of severe fatigue and general lack of being in shape. Many will avoid the trail or dismiss this post right away, but those who do are missing out on a trail with some of the greatest views around.

 

Many of us have fallen into a pattern where we aren’t as active as we would like. Many of us sit for hours at the same work station, our legs slowly becoming atrophied from lack of movement.

Colonel Bob is the opposite of that.

Colonel Bob is steep, but enjoyable. It is for those hikers looking to get something a bit harder completed, for those adventurers looking for a great view and for those of us who know there needs to be more to life than just being sedentary.

 

Yes, you will sweat. Your legs will probably get sore. You will at one point or another on the trail wonder what type of person enjoys hikes like this. You may curse, at yourself or at me, but once you see the view from the summit, the small aches and pains fade away in the euphoric panorama that unfolds before you.

 

 

 

The Five Reasons You Need to Hike Colonel Bob

 

 

The Location

 

Looking toward the Wynoochee Valley from Colonel Bob Peak, Olympic Peninsula

Looking toward the Wynoochee Valley from Colonel Bob Peak, Olympic Peninsula

 

If you haven’t spent any time in the Colonel Bob Wilderness, you should know that it is ridiculously awesome. Situated between the Quinault Rainforest and the Bigfoot-filled Wynoochee forests, the Colonel Bob Wilderness offers great forests, unique mountains and some of the more isolated regions on the Olympic Peninsula. Right near the Lake Quinault Lodge, the Bob is easy to get to and perfect for getting away. Colonel Bob is also the only Wilderness Area on the Westside of the Olympic Peninsula.

 

 

The Workout

 

The view before the summit of Colonel Bob Peak. It gets better from here

The view before the summit of Colonel Bob Peak. It gets better from here

 

Going uphill for 4 miles isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but ti can be done by just about anyone who can hike. The Colonel Bob trail may take a little training before you can reach the summit, but with the longer hours and warmer temperatures, you can take your time and reach the top without being exhausted. Great for your legs, butt and cardio, hiking the Colonel Bob trail is better than any gym workout can be. You can keep your Zumba or P90X, we will keep rocking these quad-burning trails. Your body deserves to be in shape to hike this trail.

 

 

The Trail

 

Mount Olympus and the Quinault River from Colonel Bob

Mount Olympus and the Quinault River from Colonel Bob

 

The hike to Colonel Bob has the best of the Peninsula, all on one trail. Starting out relatively calm, the trail climbs through dense forests, across creeks and eventually leads to a slide area that is frequented by elk, deer and wildflowers. From here, the trail weaves higher until it reaches Moonshine Flats, which is a great place to take a rest before the push up to the summit. Climbing up, the steps are big, but the views start opening up and soon you have almost reached the summit. As you climb the steps blasted into the summit rock, take your time, walk carefully and get ready to be breathless by the view and not the trail. The trail from Pete’s Creek is decently maintained, but offers amazingly fresh air, great views and fun sections that make for great pictures and resting points.

 

 

The View

 

Lake Quinault and the Pacific Ocean from Colonel Bob Peak

Lake Quinault and the Pacific Ocean from Colonel Bob Peak

 

If you have ever hiked to the summit of a mountain on the Olympic Peninsula, you know the views are some of the best that America has to offer. If there was a list of most-unique views, Colonel Bob should be highly ranked. Offering phenomenal glimpses at Mount Olympus, the Wynoochee Forests, the Quinault Rainforest, Grays Harbor, Lake Quinault, Mount Rainier and the Pacific Ocean, it is hard to figure out why you would want to hike to any other mountain.  For those more daring, explore around the summit and look straight down on the unique eco-system from the gnarly summit.

 

 

The Experience

 

Critter, standing high above the Quinault River on the Summit of Colonel Bob during a snow and rain storm.

Critter, standing high above the Quinault River on the Summit of Colonel Bob during a snow and rain storm.

 

While Colonel Bob might leave you sweaty, tired and craving a soak in the Sol Duc Hot Springs a few hours to the North, the entire day on Colonel Bob is exactly what your mind, body and soul need. The release of stress from a long hike, the euphoria you get from reaching a destination and the long term effects of an active lifestyle all come together on this hike. Hiking Colonel Bob needs to be done, and if you can hike 8 miles, this needs to be your goal.

 

 

WANT MORE INFO ON COLONEL BOB?

Read Detailed Trail Report Here: http://exotichikes.com/colonel-bob-peak-and-petes-creek-trail-detailed-report/

 

 

DON’T THINK YOU CAN HIKE THIS?

This 75 year old has climbed it over 200 times. http://exotichikes.com/200-summits-of-colonel-bob-peak-on-the-olympic-peninsula/

 

 

 

 

Want More of the Best Olympic National Park Area Hikes?

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