Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is interesting in that unlike all the other parks we’ve been to, you can NOT drive though from one side to the other. None of the entrances connect. That meant a lot of driving for us to get around, sometimes up to several hours. We were concerned we might not be able to see all that we wanted to, but in the end, we were very satisfied.

Once again, having not planned enough ahead, it was tough to find a place to park. We did happen to squeeze into a place that wound up being fantastic, despite lack of electrical/sewer hookups.

It’s nice when you pull in to find little treasures on the ground at your site like this…

We encountered rain on our first excursion out to Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic Rainforest… but it was magical.

The hike to the falls was short, but breathtaking

Sol Duc Falls…

The next day, we decided to check out the coastline of the park. We made the long drive to Ruby Beach, not knowing what to expect, but had an amazing day. The coast is littered with the bones of the rain forest…driftwood.

Ruby Beach as seen from the parking lot above

Ok, so I know I’m tossing around the word “magical” a lot here but really, it is. It’s haunting, moody, beautiful, majestic, and well, magical.

The entrance we took required us to climb over these “bones” to get to the the beach. There were a lot of people there, but the beach spread out and we easily found a quiet spot.

Sea Stacks…

Something about all the driftwood and stones seems to inspire creativity, as seen by all the sculptures and structures that were scattered about.

There were many of these, and they inspired Harlan to try and make his own. Easier said than done!

I was fascinated by this tree…

Knowing we’d be gone the whole day, Alan packed his camping stove and we feasted on grilled cheese and soup after a full cloudy day at the beach.

Why the heck does everything taste SO good when you’re camp cooking???

We enjoyed the beach so much we wanted to explore more coastline and tide pools but didn’t want to take the almost 2 hour drive. Our neighbors in the RV park tipped us off to a great local beach, 20 minutes down the road. It felt like we hit the jackpot.

Tongue Point, and Salt Creek Beach…at perfect low tide.

We found Blood Stars…

Anemones and Urchins

Barnacles that opened their “beaks”

And crazy prehistoric looking things

It took a bit to get used to, but this is what we had to walk on at tongue point… lots and lots of mussels.

Harlan kept busy with all the crabs under the rocks.

By the time we made it back to the car, the tide was coming in and half of what we were walking on was under water. Salt Creek beach was next.

Not as much driftwood, but still beautiful with its Sea Stacks

Just so you know, there is always some downtime at the RV park. During this stay, there happened to be a lot of this:

Our last day, Harlan needed to turn in his Jr. Ranger workbook, so we took the drive up to Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center, as the views of the Olympic Mountains are supposed to be amazing. Once again, the wildfires got in the way. It was beautiful, but not very clear.

Another park seen, another badge earned!

And it’s looking like if he keeps this up, he’s going to need a bigger vest!

Since we forgot to celebrate at the last national park, we did a double toast in Olympic!

Sometimes we’re just too tired to celebrate, so we forget…

We’re on to the Olympic Peninsula next, and the San Juan islands, before we head up to Canada. Thanks for joining us on our travels.


2 thoughts on “Olympic National Park”

  1. What wonderful photos! You guys seem happy despite weather constrictures!
    Love the coastline up there…
    Best, Ljc

  2. Love living vicariously through your amazing and magical adventures on your Journey! Thanks for all your photos, blogs and positive energy!

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