I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few national parks and without a doubt Olympic National Park is my favorite.
We managed to visit in early September when the campgrounds were mostly empty but the weather was still perfect. Camping at Hoh Rainforest along a rushing glacial river was our favorite spot and the hike up into the surreal Hoh Rainforest was spectacular.
We visited the Pacific Coast region of the Olympic Peninsula, going to Rialto Beach first (shoutout to Rialto Glen in Escondido, home sweet home!) and walked around the rocky beach and among the trees who’d given their life to the ocean. An hour later we went to Third Beach which, while just a few miles down the coast, felt like a spectacularly distinct climate than the stormy Rialto Beach.
The sea stacks of Third Beach:
Next we went to Sol Duc Falls and took the Lover’s Lane trail up to the top, spending the whole day in the forest to stop and relax on rocks along the river.
Lake Crescent was also a magnificent place with surreal water and a trail that wraps around the lake to beautiful isolated spots. I didn’t get a good sleep at the Lake Crescent campground, however, as a mountain lion was walking around the campground eating raccoons all night.
On the way home to Seattle we drove up Hurricane Ridge and hiked very early in the morning up to the top for a full view of the Olympic Mountains. Hiking that ridge early in the morning and reaching the top was the highlight of a trip full of unbelievably beautiful places.
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