|Spruce Production Division #1
AKA Port Angeles & Western
The North Tunnel
There are two tunnels that enabled the Spruce Railroad to make its way around Lake Crescent. The north tunnel is
located at Devil's Point and actually has the Devil's Punchbowl at its side. The north tunnel is about three times longer
than the south tunnel and is curved. Both of these tunnels used wooden beams to support the roof and walls of the
tunnel. It should also be noted that it was out of the south portal of this tunnel that the photograph in Logging
Railroads of the West was made. Unfortunately, vegetation and a less than large want to use my machete with hikers
about on the trail, prevented me from duplicating the photograph.
I do not know what exactly this is or its purpose, but it was sitting on the eastern side of the throughcut
that becomes the north portal of the tunnel. The cuts and iron in the closest supporting leg suggests
tunnel pieces. The stack inside of the structure does resemble ties. (9/23/05)
This is all that can be seen of the north portal from the outside. As you can see, it is mostly collapsed.
Looking south from the north portal. Note that the light from the south portal cannot be seen here. This is
due to the curve in the tunnel. (9/23/05)
Looking ahead at the northern portal of the tunnel. Note that there is just a sliver of light making its way
through. There is barely enough room to crawl through here. It appears that attempts were made at both
ends of the tunnel to collapse them, judging by the rubble and rock. This was probably done when
attempts to turn the grade around Lake Crescent into a trail came into fruitation. (9/23/05)
Collapsed tunnel support beams. Note the telephone wire underneath the fallen beams. The loop to the
right secured the wire to the beam, and is still in place. (9/23/05)
Another look at the collapsed bracing and beams within the tunnel. Even though collapsed, some of the
pieces still managed to hold together to one another. (9/23/05)
Looking back at the southern portal of the tunnel. Note the bracing still standing on the western wall. Also,
there is one beam still standing on the eastern wall. (9/23/05)
Within this pile of rubble you'll not a small singular wire. This was the telephone wire that used to run
inside of the tunnel, and was the only means of communication for awhile between the NW and NE sides
of the peninsula. The loops in the wire were points of attachment, where the wire would hang off of the
wooden beams. (9/23/05)
This remnant of a wall brace still stands on the eastern wall, the Lake Crescent side. Note the roof brace
taking off. (9/23/05)
Here is one of the roof braces still in position. This one is attached to the support brace shown above.
Bracing still standing on the western wall of the tunnel on the southern end. (9/23/05)
Another shot of the still standing bracing. (9/23/05)
Here is the bit of support bracing that is still standing inside of the tunnel. This bracing is against the
west wall, on the southern end of the tunnel. (9/23/05)
The South Tunnel
The south tunnel in comparison is much shorter than the north tunnel. Its length is around 80 feet. Also, since it is
shorter, there is no moisture inside of the tunnel, and the beams are much more dryer and stronger. However, unlike
the north tunnel, there are no beams standing inside of this tunnel.
Along The Grade
These pictures below demonstrate the log crib fills that were created to allow the railroad to carefully make its way
along the west side of Lake Crescent.
This is one of the many cut down telephone poles that line the grade. It is assumed that they removed
them when they pulled up the rails.
One of the nice rocky cuts along the way. This one is between the tunnels and demonstrates the hard
basalt that had to be dug through.
Besides the tunnels, this little spur is perhaps the most famous point along the grade at Lake Crescent.
Supposedly, there is a locomotive that ran off of this little spur and plunged into the lake. Supposedly, all
of the locomotives have been accounted for, for this line. According to one National Park Service
employee though, they were surveying the bottom of Lake Crescent a few years ago and came upon "a
very large metallic signal" at this very point, 200 feet down.
Amazingly enough, these striations have survived not only the years, but also the amount of traffic that
the trail has seen in later years. These striations are located about 1 mile down grade from the southern
trailhead, and are thus south of the southern tunnel. (9/23/05)