Jul 15, 2023

Olympic National Park Road Trip

 Last spring my husband and I took a road trip to the Olympic National Park. 

This is the route we drove from Boise, Idaho.

We spent our first night at Cascade Locks in the Columbia Gorge.

Our next stop was the Quinalt Lake Lodge in the park where we stayed for two nights.

Our room had a beautiful view of the lake and a cozy fireplace.

The lodge lobby has lots of comfy sofas and chairs in which to curl up and read in front of a big fire.

The lodge restaurant has wonderful service and delicious food. The ambience is intimate and romantic with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. 

We spent our days there exploring the surrounding rain forest. This was our first time in a rain forest, and it was truly a magical and mystical experience.

We left Quinalt Lake and drove north along the coast. We loved the stormy skies and huge waves.

The Tree of Life.

Ruby Beach

Leaving the coast, we drove inland to the Hoh Rain Forest. This was the most incredible of the forests we visited. It's completely different than any other ecosystem we've ever seen. The sense of present time fell away, and we could easily imagine dinosaurs here munching on the giant ferns.

We continued driving north through the small town of Forks to our resort accommodation on the Quillayute River. The view of the river from our suite was spectacular, and we watched bald eagles fishing from the tall surrounding trees from our window.

We spent two nights here and visited nearby La Push Beach and Rialto Beach. The stormy skies, misting waves, twisted driftwood, incredible rock formations, and tree covered islands were highlights. 

We left Quillayute and drove towards Port Angeles. We turned off into the park and drove up the beautiful Sol Duc Road. We stopped for short hikes at the uncrowded Salmon Cascades and the Ancient Grove, but passed by the hot springs and falls when we saw all the people. 

We continued on our way driving along lovely Lake Crescent. 

Another cozy lodge awaited us in Port Angeles.  This was our home base for two more nights. Unfortunately, the nearby Hurricane Ridge Road was closed for road work, but we still had plenty to see and do exploring the port, beaches, parks, and nearby towns.

The Salt Creek Recreation Area was one of our most beautiful unplanned stops with a gorgeous beach and shell covered tide pools. 

From Port Angeles, we headed south towards Olympia, stopping for a picnic lunch at Lake Cushman.

We spent one day sight-seeing in charming Olympia. Though not usually interested in buildings, the imposing Washington State Capital building was definitely worth a quick visit. 

The next day we passed by Mount Rainier on our way to a one night pit stop in Pendleton, Oregon. Then it was back home to Boise.

This was another wonderful road trip for us. We highly recommend visiting the Olympic National Park, especially for the rain forests. These unique ecosystems are truly unusual and  spectacular.

Thanks for coming along!

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