Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic National Park

Updated 8/19/2015: I'm going back to Olympic later this month. You can see more photos from other trips I took there (with a dog) at this link.

Pardon the off-topic post, but I just got back from a week at Olympic National Park, where I did lots of day hikes and my third backpack trip in the park.  Most major national parks are known for one or two things; Yosemite - huge, awe-inspiring, light-colored single-slab granite mountains and towering waterfalls, Yellowstone - wildlife and geothermal features, Grand Canyon - a big canyon, Rocky Mountain - mountains, Sequoia and Redwood - huge trees, etc.  In contrast to these places, Olympic National Park is spectacular for its great diversity.  The roughly 1 million acre park contains scenic foggy beaches, temperate rainforests dripping with dozens of species of moss, and high alpine peaks home to gorgeous wildflower-packed meadows and incredible glaciers.  It also has hot springs, amazing waterfalls, and its fair share of wildlife.  The multi-colored pebble and sand beaches are lined with massive logs and some are home to tide pools full of starfish, anemones, and other interesting organisms that can be explored during low tide.

All these features are within an hour or two drive of each other and provide endless opportunities for exploration for all ages as the park has a great balance of short, paved trails and longer more primitive trails. In my opinion, July-September is the best time to visit the park unless you love cold rain and mountains of snow.  Be sure to bring bug spray!

Right now, the Forks area is in a bit of predictable Twilight madness, which can be fun or annoying based on your feelings towards the movies/books.

The map and photos below show some of my favorite places and hikes.

Hole-In-The-Wall - Rialto Beach

Hoh Rainforest

Lake Crescent

Obstruction Point

Obstruction Point

Seven Lakes Basin

Hoh Lake

Tidepool at Rialto Beach

View Olympic National in a larger map

1 comment:

  1. It's a nice place. I like the snow mountain, rain forst, etc.