OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK | Pacific Northwest 2015

September 11, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

PNW DAY 7-9 | Olympic National Park

Previous blog posts: Oregon Coast  |  Columbia River Gorge  |  Mt. Rainier National Park  |  North Cascades National Park  |  Orca Tour

The last three days of my Pacific Northwest Adventure were spent in the vast Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. With nearly one million acres, this National Park is known for its three main unique features: the glacier capped Olympic mountains, the lush rain forests, and the Pacific shoreline of rocks, cliffs, waves, and wildlife.

Olympic National Park is unique too in that it doesn't have a single road that goes straight through the park like most National Parks do. Instead, to see the different sections of the park you have to drive the scenic HWY 101 around the Olympic Peninsula and take side roads up into the park.

Our journey through Olympic started as we left Burlington, Washington early on Day 7 and drove through Fidalgo and Whidbey Island to catch a ferry that connected us to the Olympic Peninsula.

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Once we made it to the peninsula, we made our way along HWY 101 as our plan was to see Crescent Lake, Sol Duc Falls, and Hurricane Ridge during our first day in Olympic National Park.

 

Crescent Lake

Located entirely in the Olympic National Park, Crescent Lake is a beautiful blue lake surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery. Highway 101 beautifully winds its way around the edge of the lake offering several places to pull off and enjoy the scenes. But perhaps the best place to take in the amazing views is at the Historic Lake Crescent Lodge. Built in 1915, this beautiful National Park lodge sits along the shores of the lake nestled among giant fir and hemlock trees. It was a wonderful location and I would love to stay in this lodge sometime.

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Sol Duc Falls

Located near Crescent Lake up into the Olympic Mountains, the Sol Duc area is known for its hot springs resort and the beautiful Sol Duc falls. A short hike through beautiful lush forest brings you to a bridge that overlooks this gorgeous waterfall as it plunges in-between rocks.

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Hurricane Ridge

After visiting Lake Crescent and Sol Duc, we planned to make our way up to Hurricane Ridge to spend the rest of the evening and watch sunset. One of the most iconic locations of the National Park, Hurricane Ridge sits along a mountain ridge at an elevation of 5,242 feet offering incredible views of the snow capped Olympic Mountain range. This is also a popular ski destination during the colder seasons.

Enjoy the beautiful view as we witnessed a remarkable sunset on Hurricane Ridge!

Hurricane Ridge SunsetHurricane Ridge Sunset

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Cape Flattery (Northwestern most tip of US)

Located in the Makah Indian Reservation, the most northwesterly tip of the continental United States is at Cape Flattery. Its about an hour and a half drive on HWY 112 from HWY 101 be it is very scenic as it follows long the shoreline. Then once you get to the parking area of the forested area, its a short hike down to the dramatic cliff views of the coastline. It was an amazing experience being able to say that I was on that tip of the United States. When looking at the map of the US, I was about as far away from home as possible!

The beautiful shoreline offered great sounds as you hear the waves crashing against the rock. Also, off in the distance you can see Tatoosh Island which is technically the most northwestern tip, but its only accessible by boat. On the island sit the gorgeous Cape Flattery Lighthouse. This area is another prime area to spot orcas and sea lions.

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Hoh Rain Forest

One of the United States largest temperate rainforest is actually located along the Pacific coast in Olympic National Park. The Hoh Rain Forest is a beautiful lush green forest full of many plants and species. Due to the current dry season and unfortunate wildfires in Washington, our trip to the rainforest wasn't as lush. Sadly, you could tell how dry it was and how it was effecting that environment. However, I was still able to get some photos of some lush areas that were worth saving!

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Sunset on Ruby Beach

Our last sunset of our amazing Pacific Northwest Adventure was experience on Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. The gorgeous rock formations out in the ocean presented excellent silhouette opportunities during the evening sunlight. This was a perfect way to end our awesome adventure!

Photographing Ruby BeachPhotographing Ruby Beach Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset Ruby Beach SunsetRuby Beach Sunset

It has been my absolute pleasure to take you along my adventure through the Pacific Northwest. I appreciate you following along with my blog, stories, and photos! This is truly an amazing part of the United States and I highly recommend ALL of the locations I had the privilege to see! I hope to someday return!

God bless,

 

 

 

 


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