Camping in Olympic National Park, August, 2022
my favourite photos
First of August, 2022, camping on the Olympic Penninsula in Olympic National Park. We visited the following sites
- Lake Crescent is a deep glacially carved lake on the northern Olympic penninsula. The lake is more than 600 feet deep with a surface area of about 8 square miles. We would take our camp chairs down to the shore and watch ducks in the evening
- Marymere Falls are 90 feet high and pretty easy to access, hiking from the Lake Crescent lodge area. The hike doesn't take long unless you stop to take lots of pictures...
- Hurricane Ridge is on the 'must visit' list, though spring is the most spectacular time to visit. On a clear day the glacier shrouded peaks of Mt Olympus can be seen.
- Obstruction Point has been labeled as 'Washington's scariest road'. What's actually more scary are the drivers that have no experience in mountain driving that don't know the rules of the road. There's a lot of traffic on this very narrow and winding road, so beware. Near miss head-on collisions are common. The parking lot at the end is wildly insufficient even for the volume of week day hikers, much less a full weekend onslaught. Wildflower season was mostly over, but there were a few late season stragglers.
- Beaches along Strait of Juan de Fuca - took an afternoon away from the mountains to explore the coast from Salt Creek / Crescent Beach to Ediz Hook
- Spruce Railroad Trail follows the roadbed of the former Port Angeles Western Railroad. The line was built to haul Sitka Spruce for the WWI aircraft industry. The line was completed in 1919, one year too late to join the war effort. The line continued in active service until the 1950s. The trail is paved and serves bicycle as well as foot traffic. We walked as far as the McFee Tunnel and the Devil's Punchbowl
- Moments in Time Trail is an easy trail on level ground near the Lake Crescent Lodge. It loops around through old growth forest and semi-rainforests.
- Sol Duc Falls would be another relatively easy hike if the parking lot wasn't completely full. We parked a full half mile down the road, adding an extra mile to the 1.6 mile hike. The trail was not crowded in spite of the parking situation. Many of the cars belong to back country hikers and backpackers.
- Ancient Forest Nature Trail is about a 0.5 mile loop through old growth forest with rain forest tendencies. It's an easy walk on a well maintained trail.
- Ozette is the site of an ancient Makah village that was partially buried by a mudslide around 1750. The site was excavated by archaeologists in the 1970s and studied in detail for 11 years. More than 50,000 artifacts spanning 2,000 years of Makah history were recovered. The site was then re-buried. Today the primary attraction is the large Ozette Lake, with a depth of 331 feet, but a surface elevation of 29 feet above sea level. The coffee colored water leaving the lake is indication of the tannins leached from the rain-soaked lowlands surrounding the lake. We hiked the northern trail 3.1 miles to the beach (plus another half mile from a very crowded parking lot) and back. Despite starting only 29 feet above sea level, the ups and downs of the trail added up to a staggering 700 feet of elevation over the course of the hike. The trail consists of miles of boardwalk (be careful of the occasional foot-sized holes!) interspersed with well maintained gravel trail. Not many wildflowers this time of year, but drier and safer than during the wet season I'm sure.
- Blue Mountain is a drive similar to the Obstruction Point road but with views to the nort that include the strait, Vancouver Island and Mt Baker. Lots of hiking opportunities at the end, where you'll find a rediculously small parking lot.
All in all we had a great time exploring the region.